Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

Sparkling musical ‘Hanging’ in the air!

Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 The Musical

Dolly Parton , Wales Millennium Centre , October-29-19
Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 The Musical by Dolly Parton A dreary day at the office may not sound fun but this very lively cast make it just sparkle along. Lisa Stevens’ vibrant choreography kicks things off to a dynamic start: the young men looking for outlets for their libidos and all the young ladies finding no difficulty in resisting them.

Our three leading ladies totally captive us all. From Newport, Caroline Sheen, with an excellent, crystal singing voice is very convincing as the long serving, office worker, Violet Newstead, but when she and two colleagues determine to ‘sort out’ their philandering boss she turns into a surprisingly spirited young lady.

One of the many treats of the evening is the performance of Dolly Parton look- a- like (well almost) Doralee Rhodes, by blond-wigged, high-heeled and low cleavaged Georgina Castle. She struts about aimlessly trying to work out what it is she should be doing. But when the time comes to sort out boss, Franklin Hart Jnr she’s right into it.

Dolly Parton does make an on screen appearance and sings the title song. She has written some great songs for the show and gets a tight story line from Patricia Resnick’s book. A colourful set from Tom Rogers is enhanced by Howard Hudson’s lighting design.

As the ‘boss’ Sean Needham does a good job at trying to be bossy but the girls show little care. The greatest laughs in the show come from the way the girls get their revenge on him. Castle is enthusiastically joined by shy new arrival Judy Bernly (Amber Davies) completing the trio at the heart of the narrative. She is also hiding a much stronger character with a fulsome, excellent singing voice and fine comedy performance.

Proceedings are frequently interrupted by Roz Keith, a first class comedy performance from Lucinda Lawrence. Her dynamic dancing which she demonstrates in her basque and gartered stockings shows she has a lot more going for her.

What these girls get up to with boss, Hart is quite remarkable. Needham suffers for his art but even he sees the funny side of it all and bears his discomfort bravely.

While the boss is ‘strung up’ the girls take over running the firm and it makes great progress which provides the show with its happy ending.

The show is well paced and we are laughing throughout. A real feel good occasion with which the audience show their happy satisfaction with a standing ovation at the close.

Reviewed by: Michael Kelligan

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