A Rockman Music production, this grand old celebration of the glamourous
life and times of Country legend Dolly Parton pulls out all the stops to entertain. Even on the opening night of its debut UK tour, the show drew a huge crowd of Dolly fans who were in the mood for singing and clapping along to all her best-known hits.
Featuring a divine cast of singers, dancers and top musicians, Dolly utilizes the
incredible talents of two main singers, with Emily Clark (of
Vampires Rock fame) gliding onto the stage first of all to get
the crowd into the spirit of affairs with an energetic rendition of 9 to 5.
Acknowledging Dolly's roots in America's Appalachian Mountains, she proceeded to trade
the Pop element of 9 to 5 for a royal Country hoedown with Applejack, the backing
band reproducing the music perfectly.
Here You Come Again satisfied lovers of Dolly's catchier numbers, proving
that Dolly Parton did indeed pave the way for legions of female popstars
without even realizing it.
Similarly, many people don't realize that Dolly actually
wrote I Will Always Love You, even if it was Whitney Houston who came to make a
global smash-hit of the song via the movie The Bodyguard.
Backed by a sumptuous stage-set, every aspect of the show's production complemented the
conviction with which all the songs were performed, with Manchester lass Emily Clark
proving to be a shooting star in a league of her own, even if her turn in the show
came as something of a surprise when she's usually acting a misbehaving vixen in
Steve Steinman's shows Vampires Rock and The Bat Trilogy. In her new role, Emily
was a revelation, both looking and sounding the part.
Dolly Parton might have been releasing studio albums since 1967,
but she still possesses what it takes to captivate an audience with her charisma
and songwriting. Likewise, all cast members of Dolly ensured that the spirit of
her songs retained that vital spark that made them so special in the first place.
Love Is Like A Butterfly, Me And Bobby Magee and Little Sparrow also encouraged
audience members to participate, yet the biggest and best sing-a-longs
unsurprisingly came courtesy of Islands In The Stream and the huge hit Jolene.
The quality of Dolly's music metaphorically did the talking throughout
the show, though fascinating insights into her hard life in the Appalachians
were also proffered on a few occasions, too. Still, the strength of 'Dolly'
stemmed from the fact that this bright and breezy production is so much fun,
with the extraordinarily energetic Shereen Webb strutting her stuff to the
music as and when she - as choreographer - best saw fit. What's more, there
must have been more costume changes than in a Kylie and Madonna show combined,
ensuring that the show was a spectacle in all senses.
And it wasn't only Emily Clark showing what her vocal chords are made of, because
Jeanne Jordan led many of the songs. Like Emily, she's a seasoned professional,
having sung since the age of thirteen.
Coincidentally, Jeanne was actually present at the recording of Islands In The Stream
when Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers went into the studio. Clearly a huge
fan of the song, she beckoned her husband - BJ Thomas - onto the stage to perform it
with her, and it went down a treat as they sat beside one another and crooned their
BJ has also been involved in Country music from a young age, and, like
Jeanne, he possesses a great voice.
As for the backing band, John Pettifer on guitar whipped up a veritable storm with
some rollicking guitar solos, slyly incorporating Blues and Rock influences into the fold.
Luke Thomas also proved he could play a mean guitar, allowing keyboardist Iain Bradshaw
to wend a legion of world-famous melodies around his riffs, while drummer Nigel Bromley
kept the beats with precision.
Reviews, Books - Here, Bullet by Brian Turner Reviewed by Michelle Dee
Here, Bullet is as startling as it is direct.
The anthology of poems written by the multi award-winning U.S. war
veteran Brian Turner uncovers the landscape of the war in Iraq with
unswerving honesty and importantly he writes from a non-political viewpoint.
Brian Turner saw active service for seven years which included leading an
Infantry Team in Iraq with the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd
Infantry Division in November 2003.
Reviews, Theatre - Wednesday 19th March 08 - The Bat Trilogy at Hull New Theatre By Steve Rudd Photos by Matt Rudd
Back in black and ready to rock the venue from the rafters to its foundations,
Steve Steinman vaulted into an epic rendition of Life is A Lemon without delay,
the incredible power of his vocal delivery reaching the row furthest from the stage with ease.
I should know: that's where I was sat, yet the sights and sounds even from back there were to be savoured.
Having mimicked Meatloaf for almost twenty years now, Steve Steinman's
Reviews, Theatre - Saturday 2nd February 08 - Steve Steinman's Bat Trilogy at The Futurist Theatre, Scarborough By Steve Rudd
Pulling out all the stops to put on an electrifying show, Steve Steinman and
his hard-rocking entourage pulled into Scarborough on what was a freezing
Fortunately, fans of Steve and his Bat Trilogy tour showed up in their
droves, crowding into The Futurist to witness one of the first shows of
his new tour... and with some scandalously talented
Reviews, Out of Town - Wednesday 6th February 08 - Open Mic Night at The Locomotive Inn, York By Michelle Dee
A bit of a thisisUll gang night out this one, with CillaUberwebfuhrer,
Jane Fozzy Foster
and Michellethe scribeDee. Representing Ull tonight Joejust got signedHakim and
mad as a bicycleWatts.
Our trip out to York began with a vicious nasal assault, as we got stuck behind a
fertilizer tractor just before Market Weighton. In the back of the car it smelt as
though a rat
Reviews, Cinema - VUE HD Digital Cinema, Princes Quay By Dave Fox
I feel a bit of a naughty writing this, considering my friend is running the new cinema
in St Steven's Square (sorry Sal) but I am so impressed with Vue, the new cinema on
the top deck of the Princes Quay.
I've just recently got into the High Definition at home with Blue Ray and HD TV so
I was buzzing when I heard about a brand
Reviews, Events - Wednesday 19th December 07 - Off The Road at The Adelphi By Michelle Dee
Jane Foster opened the show by taking a traditional Christmas poem and bringing it right up to date.
So 'Twas The Night Before Christmas was set on a decrepit council estate with characters more attuned to Christmas spirits rather than the spirit of Christmas.
Jane delivered the five minute piece with a cool ease and her references to local
Reviews, Books - Pleading Guilty by Paul Genney (Dedalus Books) Reviewed by Nick Quantrill
On the face of it, Henry Wallace, barrister in Hull's Whitebait Chambers, has it all. A well paying job and a comfortable life, but when solicitor's runner, Pauline Dawson, enters his life, everything changes.
Overcome with the pressures of a changing work place and his growing lust, Wallace starts to overheat.
Feeling guilty and angry, his relationship with
Reviews, Theatre - Saturday 13th October 07 - Vampires Rock at Hull New Theatre By Steve Rudd
It's safe to say that Steve Steinman is one of the hardest-working singers and performers in the UK.
No sooner did he finish his Bat Trilogy tour on the brink of summer, and he was getting back to
grips with his other great show - Vampires Rock - in anticipation for the current Autumn tour
that's sweeping up and down the country in style.
Reviews, Theatre - Monday 15th October Disposable People A Croft Creative Production By Andrew Pearson and Thom Stridd At The Boatshed Hull Marina (show runs from 15th - 20th October) By Michelle Dee
Monday evening, inside a cavernous boat shed on Hull marina, a tale of international importance and concern is unfolding. A terrible tale; a tale of modern day slavery, which the general public support, without a moment's thought, on a daily basis. That new leather bag you bought, those shoes,
Reviews - Thursday 20th September - Poetry And Music - ThisisUll At Babylon Bar, Cleethorpes By Michelle Dee
Having missed so many of Joe Hakim's recent out of town dates (Harrogate, Camden,
Southend) I was sure as hell not going to miss this one over the river in Cleethorpes.
He was joined by Mike Watts who has recently been accompanying Joe on his excursions
and flying the spoken word banner himself somewhat.
Also supporting Joe on this rare
Reviews, Events - Wednesday 22nd August Off The Road Poetry Performance Music Adelphi Club
Got in to this late due to being on the radio so first off apologies to all the acts I missed.
I'm quite sure you were brilliant and zany in that order. To be honest I have it on good
authority that performance poet Mike Watts who opened the show was indeed all that you can
read more of his poems in the poetry section on this site.
I also know having seen his zany act at Umber Gob Part 1, that
Reviews, Events - Sunday 19th August 07 - ThereplicagooseEgg support Chris Mayo at Durty Nellys
Hull's brand new comedy sketch group ThereplicagooseEgg had just over a week to prepare for this,
their first ever live show produced by Carnival 69 and they didn't disappoint a packed
Even though not one of their 4 members had ever had any stand-up experience, their unique,
clever, yet twisted approach to comedy carried them through, with a little help from Masked Dan.
Reviews, Theatre - Lord Of The Rings The Musical By Andy Dykes
Lord of the Rings the musical arrives on Drury Lane after a popular stint in Toronto. Riding on the coat tails of the Oscar winning trilogy of films and billed as a visual spectacular, the stage version is hotly anticipated by the London crowd.
Tonight the Theatre Royal is packed with theatre-goers eager to see just how Tolkien's voluminous tale
Reviews, Books - Daniel Mayhew - Life and How to Live it (White Horse Publications)
Reviewed By Nick Quantrill
Writing successful novels about music or bands is a notoriously difficult thing to do,
and something that rarely succeeds.
Step forward Daniel Mayhew to prove the exception to the rule with his debut,
which tells the tale of Serpico, the band formed by flatmates, Reilly and Jacob,
and the adventure that ensues when Reilly takes a week off work sick, and binging
Reviews, Films - 300 By Lee Cassanell
Due to the extreme cheapness of pirate DVDs it is often tempting to hand over a couple of sweaty coins to a council estate heavy at Walton Street market rather than pay six English pounds for a seat at your local cinema because that way you can smoke your lungs black, order a pizza, sit in your pants and not have to brave the uncomfortable chairs,
Reviews, Theatre - The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler at Hull New Theatre By Becky Martin
How The Vagina Monologues reflects wider anxieties and atrocities in modern society.
Thank God for Eve Ensler! Finally a strong female figure with the tenacity to stand up for and work to protect women and young girls all over the world, initiated by her wonderfully comic and complex tales of women's experiences of their own sexuality
Reviews, Games - Mr Smoozles Goes Nutso Reviewed by Daniel Chaplin
The game was very enjoyable and I think that the game was created for 6-12 year olds.
The playability of the game was extremely good but on the other hand I did not understand on how
to play the game because I could not find any instructions.
The game is about an alien attack that brain washes one of Mr. Smoozles' friends and kidnaps another.
Reviews, Books - Mark Frankland The Long and Winding Road to Istanbul (Glenmill Books) Reviewed By Nick Quantrill
It's 1977 and Liverpool FC are set to compete in their first European Cup final. For football crazy 13 year old Mickey McGuire it's the night of his life. Elder brother, Frank has different plans, as he
starts working his way up the criminal career ladder alongside local hard-man and minor criminal,
Eddie Tate. Volunteering his brother for a Tate job, Mickey is introduced to Eddie's sister
Reviews, Theatre - October 06 - The Northern Theatre Company - Thoroughly Modern Millie By Dirk Snatch
It was a Monday and after a cruel weekend of amphetamine abuse and barely legal sex, all I wanted to do was to slip into a Night Nurse induced coma and dream of Monica Bellucci's backside. However my rat bastard agent informed me that unless I
produced a theatre review within the next 24 hours, he was going to stop paying my liquor bills and feed me to the poor and so it was,