How else could she have known that a stage musical version of her 1980 hit comedy 9 To 5, about the dodgy culture and practices in corporate America, would resonate so well in 2012 Britain?
The show, which opened in Glasgow on Monday, is a fun and evocative flashback to an era when even the most talented women struggled to break through the glass ceiling – and secretarial jobs, where they were often treated as sex objects, were the most they could aspire to in the corporate world.
Featuring a top-notch cast, 9 To 5 stars Jackie Clune as Violet, the wise-cracking single mom who effectively runs the company but is always overlooked come promotion time. Her partners-in-crime – for the plot of 9 To 5 centres on the women kidnapping the boss and taking over the office – are downtrodden divorcee Judy, who is routinely humiliated by said boss, and Doralee, a big-haired, buxom, not-so dumb, blonde who spends her days fighting off said boss's advances. As Roz, the only office worker who lusts after – or even likes – the boss, Bonnie Langford steals the first half with her hilarious Heart to Hart seduction number.
Parton, who appears in the show on video beamed above the stage, wrote 11 new numbers for the show, but the one everyone wants to hear is the title song. And more annoying than the fact technical glitches delayed kick-off on Monday was the dearth of opportunities to hear – and singalong to – that rousing number: even when the disembodied Dolly launched into it – to cheers from the audience – she only sang a verse ...