Spotlight On… Star of 9 to 5 The Musical, Louise Olley

9 to 5 will burst onto the scene at Upstairs at the Gatehouse Theatre, London from 30 August to 1 October 2017, book your tickets here: 9 to 5 Tickets

Read all about it here: 9 to 5

Louise Olley is playing Doralee in the show, Dolly Parton’s role – Break A Leg caught up with Louise to get the gossip… 

Thanks for talking to Break A Leg, Louise – tell me about 9 to 5 the musical and your character. 

9 to 5 is a really fun musical, it’s about three ladies who work in an office and they are treated as inferior to their male colleagues – particularly by their boss, Mr Hart. The ladies decide to get their revenge, they kidnap him and while he’s gone they change things for the better. My character is Doralee, she is a real Texan home-girl from very humble roots. Her appearance is very glam and sexy but she has got a massive heart and is in a very happy marriage, so the attention that she gets from the men is unwanted.

How familiar were you with the story?

I didn’t know the story, I hadn’t seen the show on stage or the film. I knew the character of Doralee as I’m a massive Dolly Parton fan and she was Dolly Parton’s character in the film so I knew that I would love to play her at some point. I have since done a lot of research, seen the film and watched a lot of footage from various productions of the show.

Do you think that the space will lend itself well to the production?

I think it’s going to be perfect, I’ve seen a few shows at the venue before and it’s a very intimate space which I think this piece needs really. The storyline is very intimate and the characters are very real so it will be nice to be close enough to the audience to bring them into the story with us.

Now you’re in the throes of rehearsals and you’ve got to know the story so well, is there another character that you would love to play if the chance occurred?

That’s a good questions! There’s a character called Margaret in the show and she’s a bit of a drunk, she’s a really fun character or Roz is another character I’d love to have a go at, she’s totally in love with Mr Hart while the other girls all hate him! She’s a great character and the actor who’s playing her, Samantha Giffard is really getting her teeth into that character, she’s going to steal the show!

What led you into a performing career?

I was three when I started performing and I loved it, I was about seven when I decided it was what I wanted to do for a career. I was just doing school plays and realised that was where I was happiest and confident. I fell in love with it around that kind of time and went to University before I went to drama school because I wanted to have a good theatrical knowledge and I did a very theory based course, I also wanted to make sure it was definitely what I wanted to do because it’s a very difficult industry. I decided that I definitely still wanted to do it and my passion for it increased, so I went to drama school and here I am!

Are there any particular roles that you would like to play? 

I’d love to play Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, that’s a big one for me. I also really love classical musicals, last year I did Allegro at the Southwark Playhouse so if that went any further I would love to do that again.

What would you say to encourage people to buy a ticket and come along to see 9 to 5?

You’re not going to regret it, it’s such good fun, the dancers in the show are phenomenal and they’re non-stop I don’t know how they’re doing it. We’ve got a ten-strong cast that feels like a twenty-strong cast and we’re doing massive numbers. You’ll go away with a huge smile on your face!

Thanks so much, Louise – I am so excited to see you as Doralee! 

 

 

9 to 5 The Musical – Wolverhampton Grand Theatre

Reviewed by Helen and Garry McWilliams

9 to 5 Four 9 to 5 One

The glitz and glamour of ‘Dollywood’ arrived in Wolverhampton this week in the form of touring musical ‘9 to 5’ based on the film starring Dolly Parton and with music and lyrics written by the lady herself. Our second visit to see this fun, fast and furious show, yet it did not fail to have us exiting the theatre with a huge smile on our faces and a real hankering for a pink glittery Stetson (maybe just for Helen…).

‘9 to 5’ tells the story of three working girls from very different backgrounds, they need a job but they don’t need the hassles that come from their chauvinistic, sexist boss Franklyn J Hart. However, a hazy ‘day-dream’ during an alcohol and smoke-fuelled girls night in comes to fruition, and with outlandish consequences. There are some toe tapping numbers, including the title song ‘9 to 5’, ‘Shine Like the Sun’ and ‘Change It’. There’s also a surprise visit from Dolly herself, making it a show that we truly believe has something for everyone.

The three leading ladies are all exceptional, each one stands out on in their own right for playing believable characters who couldn’t differ more from the other. Jackie Clune is Violet, the head-strong widow who is desperate for promotion and who’s dream is to become the first female CEO. Clune has a beautifully rich vocal tone, ably singing all of the numbers to a high standard. ‘Let Love Grow’ (duet with suitor Joe in act two) was a memorable moment. Natalie Casey has put her trademark ‘quirkiness’ on the role of Judy and displayed her usual precise comic timing together with a marvellous vocal range. Casey is an actress of immense talent and her career successes to date reflect her versatility. It must be a difficult task to take on the role of Doralee which is cherished by Dolly’s fans (it’s the role that Dolly played in the film) but we couldn’t fault Amy Lennox, she epitomised Parton while simultaneously making the character her own. ‘Backwoods Barbie’ was her solo number and Lennox’s singing voice lent itself to the country and western genre, superbly. This girl is one to watch out for, and we both felt that we could picture her in many other leading roles, we hope our prophecy comes true!

Ben Richards is an outstanding ‘Mr Nasty’ aka the boss, Franklyn J Hart, the character is despised by most but adored by Roz Keith, office memo enthusiast and ‘odd-ball’ who’s desire is that Hart feels the same way as she does about him. Bonnie Langford played the role of Roz when we watched this for the first time, so these were big shoes to fill – but Anita Louise Combe should be commended for a hilarious performance.

The cast for this production is fairly minimal in comparison to other shows that we have seen, but there’s a real sense that this is a team effort and opportunities for each performer to provide a glimpse of what they’re capable of. A thoroughly talented ensemble, indeed and praise must go to Lori Hayley Fox as Margaret, a cameo role that has stayed with us since the first time around and that we eagerly anticipated watching again – “atta girl!”.

The show stays at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre until Saturday 18th May and you can book tickets via their website http://www.grandtheatre.info. Tour dates can be accessed at http://www.9to5themusical.co.uk.

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