THE brightly-coloured posters for Dolly Parton musical 9 To 5 promise a gaudy, colourful theatrical treat; and that’s exactly what you get, with a great big dose of heart, cracking feel-good tunes and slick choreography.

The ensemble cast bursts on to the stage to the title track, setting the scene for our heroines’ plights: single mom Violet, frustrated at being passed by for promotion; newly-divorced, never-worked downtrodden Judy, and pert and perty Texan newgal Doralee.

While the show may be based on the 1980 film, which stared Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda and Dolly Parton, it’s easy enough to follow without prior knowledge of the plot.

Jackie Clune leads from the front as the would-be CEO, giving her colleagues the confidence to fight for their rights as employees – and as women – under sexist boss Franklin Hart Jr (a role which Ben Richards clearly, sleazily, revelled in). She’s confident and ballsy, and you can’t fail to be drawn under her wing with the other girls.

In the daunting Dolly role, pint-sized powerhouse Amy Lennox excelled. Staying true to expectations of a Dollylike, she injects so much warmth into the character that it’s impossible not to will her on. Backwoods Barbie is a fantastic number.

Rawtenstall’s Natalie Casey was a real surprise, bringing her well-known comedic skills to the fore as Judy goes from mousey to magnificent – in a role which could easily be a bit of a drip. I wasn’t sure what to expect from her vocals, but her big solo, Get Out And Stay Out was truly heart-wrenching, while her contributions to the girls’ numbers was also spot on.

Almost unrecognisable, Bonnie Langford’s Roz is an utter treat. She more than makes up for the weak scripting of the role, with her song Heart To Hart making absolute certain she doesn’t go unnoticed.

Scene changes were well covered by dance routines, and kept slick and swift as cast members wheeled desks and trucks into place, all of which well reflecting the 1979 setting and changing moods of the Consolidated work place.

Parton’s skills as a country songwriter, and musical storyteller, don’t always convert to the spoken plot, but your feet are a-tapping throughout – and come the final reprise of 9 To 5, the press night audience (celebs included) were all stamping and clapping along to the infectious tune. Get there if you can.