The biggest shows in the South West this February
JOHN Lyon takes a look at the bigger venues across the South West to see what they have to offer this February.
Princess Theatre, Torquay:
GET ready for a Dolly Fest. Country music singer Dolly Parton won't be in town, but the musical she created is staged in Devon for the first time from Monday, February 18 to Monday, February 25.
9 To 5: The Musical is based on the hilarious hit movie about 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's nothing they can't do.
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One of Parton's biggest solo hits, 9 To 5 was nominated for an Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, the hit song topped the pop and country charts winning two Grammy Awards including best Country Song of the year.
There are 18 original Parton numbers in the show and stars include Natalie Casey as Judy Bernly, Jackie Clune as Violet Newstead and Bonnie Langford as Roz Keith.
The venue enjoys another outstanding highlight this month, the Olivier Award winning play, The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice, written and directed by Jim Cartwright, starring Coronation Street Rovers' landlady Beverley Callard as Mari Hoff. Ray Quinn is Billy and comedian Duggie Brown is Mr Boo. It's a heart-warming Northern tale of shy Little Voice (Jess Robinson) who uses her late father's record collection to perfect impersonations of star singers. Mum Maria is not impressed until she falls for a talent scout who eyes a jackpot showbiz discovery.
Box office: 0844 8713023.
Theatre Royal, Plymouth:
TWO absolute theatrical gems head west to this premier venue, the energetic musical High Society and the classic drama Driving Miss Daisy.
Cole Porter's timeless classic skips into town in a dazzling new production from Tuesday, February 19, to Saturday, February 23. Adapted from the 1956 film starring screen legends Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly and Frank Sinatra, High Society bubbles with a host of beautiful ballads including True Love, You're Sensational and Well, Did You Evah.
Driving Miss Daisy, from Monday, February 25, to Saturday, March 2, is the compelling tale of the unlikely, long-lasting friendship that blossoms between prickly, elderly, Southern matriarch Daisy Werthan played by Gwen Taylor (Barbara, Coronation Street) and her kind-hearted chauffeur played by Don Warrington (Rising Damp). As the wheels turn and decades roll by against a background of prejudice, inequality and social unrest, the pair slowly transcend their differences.
Propeller, the internationally acclaimed all-male Shakespeare company, make a triumphant return to Plymouth with Twelfth Night and The Taming Of The Shrew from Tuesday, February 12, to Saturday, February 16. And you can still catch Dirty Dancing until February 9.
Box office: 01752 267222.
BOOGIE Nights, on Wednesday, February 13, features all the hit songs of the Seventies from an all-star cast including The Osmond Brothers, Gareth Gates, big band and soul singer Andy Abraham and Dancing On Ice finalist and pop phenomena Chico, plus Shane Richie Junior. It's the hilarious and heart-warming story of Roddy O'Neil, set in a provincial British town in the height of the disco Seventies. This remixed concert version sees the original characters in a packed hit-fest, with video images on a giant backdrop complementing the live music and all-star cast.
Strictly fans will be applauding the ballroom skills of Anton Du Beke and Erin Boag on Wednesday, February 27, in their salute to the golden years of MGM musicals creating all the fizz and razzmatazz of Hollywood glamour.
Sell-out shows at the venue include Little Mix, Plan B and Paloma Faith.
Box office: 0845 1461460.
Exeter Corn Exchange:
THE venue has laughs a plenty with Lee Hurst (Saturday, February 2), Alex Horne (Friday, February 8) and Jethro (Monday, February 25).
Box office: 01392 665938.
FOLLOWING the success of Patience last year, Exeter University Gilbert and Sullivan Society return to celebrate their 45th year with one of the most famous comic operas of all time. The Pirates Of Penzance runs from Tuesday, February 12, to Saturday, February 16.
Box office: 01392 493 493.
Brewhouse Theatre, Taunton:
HULL Truck Theatre brings to life the classic story of love, loss and redemption in an intriguing new adaptation of one of the great Gothic novels, Jane Eyre, on Wednesday, February 20.
Imran Yusuf is the comedy headliner on Friday, February 15, while on February 28, actor Bob Kingdom stars in his one-man play revealing the tormented life of Edward, Duke of Windsor, and his love for Wallis Simpson.
Box office: 01823 283244.