16:37 Friday 16 November 2012

Natalie is following Dolly's lead


FROM Two Pints of Lager to 9 to 5 in the Theatre — reporter JENNY MOODY talks to Natalie Casey about her role in the Dolly Parton musical.

WORKING nine to five — even saying the line makes you sing the classic Dolly Parton song. Theatre lovers are now able to go one step further and see the show live in Stoke-on-Trent.

Natalie Casey in Nine To Five - The Musical (pic: Simon Annand)
Natalie Casey in Nine To Five - The Musical (pic: Simon Annand)

Starring Natalie Casey, better known as Donna in Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, the toe-tapping 9 to 5 is set to hit the Regent Theatre from Monday to Saturday next week.

The Dolly Parton musical also features Jackie Clune as Violet Newstead, Bonnie Langford as Roz Keith, Amy Lennox as Doralee Rhodes and Ben Richards as Franklin Hart.

Speaking of the tour so far, Casey told the Mail: “It is going great, I am in Glasgow this week and it is nice being in a big city as we have done a lot of smaller venues.

“It is strange, a bit odd, to do something that is so successful as a lot of the time, nine times out of 10, a lot of people aren’t going to like a show. To be in something so massive is weird.

“I am looking forward to being in Stoke as I have friends there. I also love oatcakes, so will be buying them in bulk to take with me.” Casey will take the role of Judy Bernly who has just been ditched by her husband for a ‘younger model’ and is forced to get a job in a consolidated company.

She said: “Judy is a completely different person by the end of the show and becomes a feminist icon.

“I am a massive fan of the film and many of the 70s and 80s feminist comedies. I used to bother my agent when it was on Broadway to find out when it was touring and I clawed my way to getting the part.

“It has got a great American team behind the show as well. I am working with Dolly Parton it doesn’t get much bigger than that. It is amazing.” The musical is based on the hit movie and 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 is nothing they cannot do.

When asked the main differences between performing on the stage and on television, the former Hollyoaks star said: “I always think that when you do TV pretty much anyone can to that part as they can shoot a scene 15 times and one is bound to be good.

“With theatre it is 100 per cent live, if you mess it up you know immediately as the audience wont clap.

“If it doesn’t turn out right you can figure it out for the next show. It is the definition of what acting is. You can get better parts and the directors and producers are fascinating people.

“It is massive doing theatre and a better opportunity to act. That is not to say doing TV isn’t brilliant as well.” Casey added that working with the rest of the cast has been an ‘amazing’ experience.

She said: “It has been amazing. The brilliant thing about the casting is they really did cast people right for the parts.

They did not just get big names in. If they happened to be big names it was a bonus.

“This is rare in musicals as they tend to employ names so this is fantastic. Amy Lennox is brilliant and so is Jackie Clune.

Bonnie Langford just brings the house down. Ben Richards is just the most gorgeous man in the history of men. He is absolutely brilliant. The producers made a point of not hiring people that just looked like dancers, they had to act and move.

“I know it sounds cheesy but sometimes you do a job that is magical and this is one of those jobs.” When asked about her role as Donna in Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, which ran for nine series, the actress said: “I think it is brilliant to do something for that long and become part of this family.

“We were all 18 or 19 when it started so it grew up with us so when it finished I wasn’t sad for that success to come to a natural end.

“We became a family so I still see the others and speak to them.” Referring to her many varied roles and pondering which was her favourite, she said: “I think whatever job I am doing at the time is my favourite.

“I have never done a job where I just think I hate it. I think it is much better when you do a part which makes people laugh, I think it’s a science not an art.

“I always dreamed I would make people laugh and I am always amazed when I get a job. I always get a bit surprised.” Speaking about the future, the bubbly actress concluded: “I will pretty much do anything. If a part came along and I liked it and the piece that would be great.

“I do things if I think they will be enjoyable and I would like to meet more interesting people and have a nice team.”

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