Review: Here You Come Again at Leeds Playhouse

My friend and I got into the theatre early and that turned out to be good thing as there was so much to see in the set design.

The stage was set as an attic bedroom where Kevin was holed away in his family home during Covid. Kevin has lost faith in himself due to a failing relationship and a creative career he feels is going nowhere.

There was so much to see in the attic – a treasure trove of childhood toys, fairy lights and chimneys can be seen piling up against the skyline beyond. It was a beautiful sight to behold.

Steven Webb as Kevin had the audience eating from the palm of his hand from the get-go. He was funny, engaging and overly-dramatic (which seemed very apt in a show about Dolly Parton). We quickly realise that despite trying to put a brave face on things, Kevin is struggling and although he clearly has a talent for comedy, he cannot catch a break.

Just when it seems he is as low as he can get – pow! Dolly Parton enters his attic and his life. And what a Dolly Parton she is. Tricia Paoluccio has loved the country music superstar since she was a little girl and it shows. I believe that even the greatest Dolly fan would be impressed by the voice, the costumes, the looks and the spirit of Tricia’s representation. It was great to read in the programme that the real Ms Parton approves of the production, only vetoing a joke about her hometown because as she says “I have to go back there every now and again.”

The relationship between Kevin and Dolly is a wonderful thing to see unfold. I particularly loved the rendition of “Jolene” and Kevin’s representation of her beauty that is beyond compare and her flaming locks of auburn hair. The humour throughout the show is laugh-out loud funny and balances the self-doubt and lack of confidence Kevin is experiencing.

The set and the amazing costumes were all designed by Paul Wills and he drew on decades of iconic designs. Through wig styling and colour choices he has created “a visual journey that showcases four distinct Dolly looks.”

The show band and backing singers were also very talented and added some extra comic touches as they doubled as other characters in Kevin’s life.

Throughout the show there were lots of surprises and at points the story spilled over into the audience, serving to make us feel very much a part of the unfolding story.

Dolly’s unrelenting positivity helps to steer Kevin to believe in himself and we get to hear some of the stories of her life and the struggles she has faced.

Whether you love Dolly Parton or not, it is unlikely you would leave this show with anything other than a glow and some fantastic earworms of the songs so fabulously performed.

Here You Come Again runs at Leeds Playhouse until Saturday 8 June 2024.  Full details and tickets at: www.leedsplayhouse.org.uk/event/here-you-come-again-3

 

This post was written by reader Hazel Millichamp in return for two free tickets, as part of South Leeds Goes To The Playhouse.

Photo: Steven Webb (Kevin) and Tricia Paoluccio (Dolly Parton) in Here You Come Again © Hugo Glendinning

 

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2 Replies to “Review: Here You Come Again at Leeds Playhouse”

  1. Went to see this was absolutely fabulous cast music everything amazing well worth seeing

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