Recent Posts

Sunday, 18 December 2022

REVIEW: Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol at the Southbank Centre

It’s a Holly Dolly Christmas this year as the Queen of Country’s version of the classic festive tale comes to London. Singer, songwriter, actress, entrepreneur, novelist, theme park owner and global icon…there is nothing that Dolly Parton can’t turn her hand to. Her latest venture is a musical version of the Charles Dickens classic novella “A Christmas Carol” but instead of London in Dickensian times the action takes place in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee in 1937. This is an area of the world that Dolly is all too familiar with as she famously grew up in the Smoky Mountains along with her parents and 11 siblings in a small cabin. 

This isn’t Dolly’s first forte in musical theatre as she had huge success with the stage adaptation of her classic 1980 film “9 to 5”, recently playing in London’s Savoy Theatre. In a similar fashion, Dolly has intertwined her songs to complement the book by David H. Bell and adapted by Curt Wollan and executive producer Paul T. Couch.

Sunday, 5 September 2021

REVIEW: 9 to 5 at the Mayflower Theatre

The huge 2300 seat grade II listed Mayflower Theatre has bounced back from the pandemic closure with a strong programme of Musical theatre and in a short period since reopening has presented tours of The Rocky Horror Show, Hairspray and now the opening week of 2021 regional tour of 9 to 5. The strongly themed shows around sexual awakenment and transvestism, racial equality and integration and female equality in the workplace respectively, though wrapped up in a period feel of the sixties to the eighties, still resonate well with audiences today in the era of Pride, Black Lives Matter and #MeToo. But most of all they work as entertainments because they are fun, high energy and presented with a knowing charm, well targeted at audiences who crave that feel-good factor on a night out.

It is interesting that the West End too has found a strong response to Anything Goes at the Barbican, Hairspray at the Coliseum and Jersey Boys at the Trafalgar Theatre and now in previews, Back to the Future at the Adelphi with their period feel and lively high-quality presentation. The regional sector may not get the same production values and big-name casting but venues like the Mayflower are big and roomy enough to offer well-priced comfortable access to these big musical shows with top ticket prices less than half the average price achieved in London. It makes for a very good value night out without the travel hassles of the London Tube or a 20-mph speed limit in the congestion zone in London!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

9 to 5 the Musical UK Tour: Theatre Review

9 to 5 the Musical is based on the 1980 film of the same name, starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton. The film was adapted for stage, opening on Broadway in 2009. Parton, who wrote the title song of the original film, wrote the music and lyrics for the musical. The original production on Broadway closed after just 24 previews and 143 regular performances. However the musical didn’t just go away, it embarked on a US tour and last year came over to the UK and is currently touring the country. Set in the 1980s where the work place was a sexist place for women the show tells the story of three women Violet, Doralee and Judy who kidnap their horrible boss and give him a taste of his own medicine. They take over the office and show that just because you’re a women doesn’t mean you’re incapable of doing anything a man can do.
I must say that the score of this show is brilliant, for Dolly’s first musical she’s really done a fantastic job and really seems to understand each one of the characters plus getting the musical theatre style spot on, adding her own style to it too. She’s written a song for Judy which comes near the end of the show called Get Out and Stay Out, any person who likes musical theatre would know this song already but this has to be my favourite musical theatre song of all time. Patricia Resnick has written a great script, the thing I love about the show is that it’s a modernised version of the story (obviously still set in the 80s) but it still stays so true to the original essence of the film.
Blog Design by pipdig