Haverhill drama group’s new show is one of its ‘best ever’

Cian Harriss as Warner and Nikki Dine-Hart as Elle during rehearsal for Centre Stage Company's musical, Legally Blonde. Picture by Andy Mayes; Idyllic Imagery
Cian Harriss as Warner and Nikki Dine-Hart as Elle during rehearsal for Centre Stage Company's musical, Legally Blonde. Picture by Andy Mayes; Idyllic Imagery

The latest Centre Stage Company show has two newcomers in lead roles and a first-time director, but the production is seen as one of the best ever by the award-winning am-dram outfit.

Becca Neal is well known to many regular followers of Centre Stage, having been involved over the years as an actor, writer and choreographer, but this time she takes to the helm as the director of Legally Blond, which is on at Haverhill Arts Centre from October 17 to 21.

“It’s my directorial debut. I’ve written the pantos before and I’ve choreographed before but this is me steering the ship, explained Becca.

“It’s been great fun but it’s been quite a learning curve.

“The quality of the show is one of the best we’ve ever done. The cast has worked especially hard.”

The musical (based on the movie starring Reece Witherspoon) is the same as the one that has been a smash hit on Broadway and the West End.

Central character Elle Wood (Centre Stage newcomer Nikki Dine-Hart) is dumped by boyfriend Warner (Cian Harriss) for a more ‘serious’ girlfriend, Vivienne (Billie Allen) as he heads to Harvard Law School.

Elle gets down to studying and makes it to Harvard herself, where she is coached by Emmett Forrest (played by another Centre Stage newcomer, Lewis Simington) with the goal of winning Warner back, but she turns out to be a natural lawyer and discovers there’s more to life than winning back her ex.

The musical has stacks of original, catchy songs and features other familiar Centre Stagers, including Paul Gardiner as Elle’s law teacher, Professor Callahan and Kelly Mepham as fitness queen Brooke Wyndham, whom she defends in a murder trial.

The shows start at 7.30pm every day, with an additional 2.30pm matinee on the 21st.