9 to 5 The Musical, the stage show based on the film in which Dolly Parton herself stars, is headed for the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre this Monday.
So we decided to catch up with one of the leads, and the youngest member of the cast, Amy Lennox to find out what it’s like to play a character based on one of the biggest musical talents of all time.
So what made you go for the part of Doralee Rhodes?
Well probably, quite simply, my agent put me up for it. I heard through the grapevine that it was coming over and I’m always excited about new, original stuff. And as much as it has been done in Broadway and America, it has been totally reworked for over here and massively rewritten. I was very intrigued about it and quite excited to hear it was coming over so I was very chuffed to be seen for the part and even more chuffed when I got it!
Amy will be taking to the stage as Doralee Rhodes who is based on Dolly Parton.
Does the role differ from what you have done before?
I’ve done quite a lot of musical theatre so for me the most daunting thing was playing this iconic role, the part that Dolly Parton played. And as much as I’m Doralee Rhodes, it is very Dolly Parton. So for me I had this concern that a lot of Dolly Parton fans would come to watch it and I thought are they going to be disappointed when I’m not a carbon copy of Dolly Parton? This worried me. So when I went into rehearsals, it was the first thing I asked: what were the expectations for this role? They were very clear that they didn’t want me to mimic her or do a carbon copy because it would end up being a caricature and nobody wants to see that on the stage really. Like any character, it comes from yourself and then you build on it. I have to say it has just been really good fun finding my Doralee Rhodes.
What’s she like to play as a character?
It’s really good fun and I have some really good lines, some really funny lines. She’s quite ballsy and for that reason, I have some crackers. She also has a gun which she carries around in her handbag. She’s the loveliest, most kind person but if she’s pushed, she knows how to stand her own ground. She’s certainly no pushover.
The show is about strong females. Is that fun to embrace as well?
Absolutely because it’s quite rare even in this day and age. It’s rare to find a musical that has such strong females in it and also a musical that has a lot of leads for females. A lot of them are male-orientated. It’s quite funny that now you’ve got Viva Forever in the West End which is all about girl power and then you’ve got us. They all seem to have come at once. That’s a huge thing for me: not just doing an original piece but also doing something that’s all about girl power.
Ben Richards is just one of the many famous faces also starring in the show.
Do you think fans and non-fans of Dolly Parton will enjoy it?
Yes, I think for either of those groups, because it really is a good fun show. It has got the message, you know, the whole thing about females in the workplace which is still valid today. I mean things are still not perfect especially with pay levels and stuff. So it has got all that but it’s also really good fun and really light-hearted. Anyone can go to have a good laugh and a fun night out… and that goes for boys as well! It’s a universal show. It’s got something for everyone.
What’s your favourite scene in the show?
I do love Backwoods Barbie. That’s the song that I sing and it’s one that Dolly Parton fans will know. I just think the lyrics are so clever and it’s such a beautiful, heartfelt song which I think a lot of people can identify with it. I also love my scenes with Franklin Hart (played by Ben Richards). I have a scene where he’s basically hanging from the ceiling all tied up and he tries to attack me. We have a little scuffle and I punch him in the balls and have him at gunpoint (Amy bursts out laughing). So that’s very empowering and lots of fun! That’s just one of many great scenes.
9 to 5 The Musical is showing at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre from Monday 21st to Saturday 26th of January 2013. Tickets start from €20 and are on sale now from their website.