Over the past few years, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland haven’t failed to impress me with their performances at the Fringe and this year is no exception. Bringing to life the Dolly Parton musical
There are countless things things I loved about this performance.
The musical itself, opening with a slightly tweaked version of the title song, bursts onto stage with colour and energy and starts to introduce our characters to us. The story here is based mostly on three women working in an office; one the new girl recovering from the breakdown of her marriage, the other a blonde bombshell who can’t seem to get past other people's assumptions of her and the last a smart, managerial type, who can’t seem to move up the ladder. The women battle with the constant harassment and sexism that stops them from achieving their goals and being treated fairly, until eventually they snap and take things into their own hands. Really quite literally.
There are countless things things I loved about this performance. Right from the outset it’s hard to ignore the amazingly crafted set, made from rainbow coloured filing cabinets, with moving pieces that the cast interact with. The definition of simply-done-well. Choreographer Paul Smethurst has done so well to not only seamlessly work this into the dance pieces but also create relaxed choreography that let the cast maintain their characterisation – they aren't shackled to over complicated movements and yet still really show off what they can do. In terms of the cast there are a couple of real highlights. Genevieve Clarke as wannabe “female CEO” Violet Newstead was superb; sharp and mature in her characterisation, she had me totally on her side. Alice Robertson, playing wrongfully dismissed Maria, a pretty small part, but who also for me became the most memorable member of the ensemble, as an infectiously charismatic member of the cast.
A few of the lead role voices are a little faltering, but this may be the cast still settling into their roles and with a cast as determined as these guys are to smash every aspect of this show this is sure to only improve throughout the run.