Love her or loathe her, there is no denying that the pint-sized, yet larger than life country music star, Dolly Parton, is one of the USA’s best known stars, with sentimental ballads, her own theme park and now a musical to her name.
And this week Dollywood has taken over Wolverhampton’s Grand Theatre with the arrival of her 9 to 5 show.
Set in 1979, the comedy is a feisty, feminine tale of three office workers who seek revenge on their horrible boss, Franklin J Hart, in this instance played to perfection by Holby City star Ben Richards, who is every inch the male chauvinist pig, while managing to retain his sex appeal and lovable bad boy image. The office environment has never been so cheery though, with slick staging and choreography from a first rate cast of swirling secretaries and suited and booted office Romeos.
Jackie Clune commands the stage as widow, Violet and ex-Two Pints And a Packet of Crisps star Natalie Casey shines in her comedic role as the down-trodden Judy. However, it is Amy Lennox who steals the show as Doralee, the role Miss Parton pioneered in the 1980 film of the same name, with a vocal performance to die for and exceptionally engaging humour.
The show would not be complete without the Queen of Country herself of course, and Dolly fans will be delighted because she’s there, well on film anyway, uplifting the audience as only she knows how.
It’s cheesy, camp and corny, but definitely one of the best evenings of entertainment you will see at the Grand Theatre this season – thoroughly deserving of the standing ovation it received. Unmissable.
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