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Actors with an eye on Hollywood channel Dollywood during short run of 9 to 5 the musical

News overview

Most young actors dream of making it in Hollywood.

But a young troupe from Ipswich has recently been channelling Dollywood.

Learners performing 9 to 5

The thesps are from «Ƶ and they have just completed a short run of the musical 9 to 5.

Originally made famous by Dolly Parton as a film that was released in 1980, the musical production first hit the stage sixteen years ago in Los Angeles before heading to Rope Walk Boulevard this week.

The plot sees a sexist boss called Frankin Hart running an office in Oklahoma, treating women as nothing more than sex objects.

Learners performing 9 to 5

After suffering unnecessarily for far too long at the behaviour of Hart – who is like a Sid James on steroids, the three main female characters (Violet, Doralee, and Judy) decide to carry on by joining forces with the aim of taking their boss down a peg or two by metaphorically kicking him in the Jolene’s.

Although steam trains were still on the tracks when this was first released as a film, this plot is like a bullet train.

You are hardly able to catch your breath such is the speed of transition throughout this first-class production that was directed and choreographed by Kelly Fletcher.

There were great performances from the main leads. Doralee (played by Kaytlin Hammett) was perfectly polished in the Dolly Parton roll, and she even managed to sing with a Tennessee twang.

Kaytlin Hammett playing Doralee Rhodes

Gemma Wall (as Violet) built her performance brick by brick gradually creating a towering inferno of a performance.

Gemma Wall playing Violet

One song by Hannah Burman (as Judy) would have been good enough to get her into a top drama school on its own.

Hannah Burman playing Judy Bernly

And Acer Thompson who played head honcho Hank, perfectly depicts the evil big boss with a mixture of humour and sleaziness that David Bent would have been proud of.

Acer Thompson playing Hank

Dolly even made an appearance (all be it from a video screen) and got the crowd and the cast on their feet for a rendition of 9 to 5 at the end of the show that seemed to go on for 24/7.

I’d say Dolly is a feel-good icon who makes the world a better place and this wholesome show did the same.

By John Nice

Posted 22 May 2024