Weymouth Pavilion

MUSIC, dancing, laughter and a couple of cute dogs, what more could you ask for in a night out at the theatre?

This all-American show, originally a novel then a movie, earns top marks for the WOW team as they field a strong cast of young people who never put a foot wrong in a production that is action packed, colourful and wonderfully satisfying, to say nothing of very impressive American accents.

A paper thin plot is enlivened by a host of great characters and an excellent musical score in a show that has very little spoken dialogue, the lyrics of the songs telling the story most of the time.

Leading the pack is dizzy blonde Elle whose boyfriend dumps her when he goes to study law at Harvard university which makes her decide to try and join him in order to recapture her lost love, our blonde babe finally becoming a respected lawyer for whom love blossoms once again,

In a hugely demanding role in which she is onstage virtually throughout the show, 15 year old Maggie Ayles gives a stunning performance as Elle, quite simply stealing the show with jaw-dropping professionalism as she develops her character from party girl to intelligent and perceptive mature woman.

The strong cast also features excellent performances by Molly Thorne as her likeable friend Paulette, Luke Southorn as Harvard teaching assistant Emmett, Alex Rogan as the dubious boyfriend Warner, Jamie Dovell as the professor and Georgina Mason as the scheming posh student Vivienne, not forgetting Harrison Burley as a hilarious postman.

With such a large cast, the dance routines pose quite a challenge but Martine Burt’s direction and choreography are imaginative and full of energy and affection, just perfect for the occasion which the young people embrace with zest and enthusiasm.

A production that comprises back to back music during the entire show needs a good orchestra and musical director Heather Reed is in her usual excellent form with this demanding score.

Finally, fast moving and ever changing scenes ranging from courthouse to bathroom and campus to caravan are handled with speed and skill, thanks to the hardworking backstage crew who keep the production speeding along at a rapid pace.

The show continues for the rest of the week with a matinee performance on Saturday.