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Ingredients for cracking show

By Herald Express  |  Posted: November 29, 2012

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9 to 5: The Musical

★★★★

New Victoria Theatre, Woking

THERE'S no doubt in my mind that the Dolly Parton musical 9 to 5 will brighten up any cold, wintry night.

With a stellar cast, vibrant, energetic ensemble and catchy tunes it has all the ingredients for a cracking show.

The influences of Dolly's songwriting skills are evident throughout, as there is a hint of country music, mixed with the memorable melodies you'd find in the top musicals.

Dolly is also very much part of the show, with a projection of the singer beamed up on stage at various sections of the musical.

She loosely acts as a narrator of the production, which is a nice touch and works well.

The pedigree cast is worth it's weight in gold as they put on a faultless performance.

The three leading ladies — Jackie Clune, Natalie Casey and Amy Lennox — are a joy to watch. Their vocals, comic timing and general stage presence alone were superb throughout.

Pint-sized performer Bonnie Langford is the hidden gem in the show. You'd barely recognise her in the role as Roz, a geeky office worker with a saucy side.

During her solo, dressed in not much more than underwear you'd find in Ann Summers, she belted out the song Heart to Hart to rapturous applause.

The Bill actor Ben Richards also deserves recognition for hamming up the role of the male chauvinist boss Mr Hart and should receive a pat on the back just for wearing a risque pink sparkly outfit during the song 'Sexist, Egotistical, Lying, Hypocritical, Bigot'... Yes, I know, it's hardly a catchy song title but it's a good 'un.

Songs such as the heartfelt solo Backwoods Barbie performed by Annie Lennox as Doralee, a pretty woman, perceived as an airhead was a definitive highlight.

Admittedly, this musical isn't for those who like serious and thought provoking productions but it will appeal to the masses as it's up-tempo and it is perfect escapism.

Once you've finished your 9 to 5 job, head down to the theatre and snap up tickets while you can.

It comes to the Princess Theatre, Torquay, from February 18-23. Log on to www.atgtickets.com/torquay

DAWN ELLIS

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