What a way to make a living

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Brighton gets a dose of Dolly Parton when her new musical 9 To 5 visits the Theatre Royal (Dec 10-15), with Bonnie Langford leading the cast.

Based on the hit movie of the same name, the musical centres on three office workers who turn the tables on their sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot of a boss.

They conspire to take control of the company and learn there’s nothing they can’t do… all to a soundtrack including Dolly Parton’s original hit title song and another 18 original Dolly Parton numbers, including Backwoods Barbie, Shine Like the Sun, Get Out and Stay Out and Let Love Grow.

“She wrote the title song some years ago,” says Bonnie, “and there is another song which she did, but other than that, she has written the songs for the musical. It went to Broadway and toured the US.”

And now it is here: “I was asked to do is because I was doing Spamalot for the same production company, and when they asked me, I was a little bit surprised because I am nothing like my character! But maybe that makes it more interesting for me!

“I play a lady who is an office supervisor.

“She is about the only person that likes being at work and she rather adores her boss – even though he is an absolute chauvinist pig! It’s a fun romp. It’s very comedic.”

And the songs very much take the story forward, with Dolly definitely moving out of her usual genre for a range of different types of number: “There’s bluesy, swing and Broadway, all different styles that she has embraced.

“She is a very clever lady and a very clever businesswoman and also an extremely-talented songwriter.”

But another part of her success is that Dolly is someone who never apologises for who she is, says Bonnie.

“She comes from an era where she had to work her way through life and became successful through sheer hard graft and making the very most of her talent.

“She has weathered all the storms.”

Bonnie was in panto in Guildford last Christmas; but there will be no panto this year, with 9 To 5 settling into Birmingham over the festive period.

“I loved being in Guildford, but at least I get Boxing Day off with this!”

Tickets on 0844 871 7650.