Entertainer Donna Stewart returns to the stage
Northern Ireland’s ultimate Dolly Parton tribute is back as Donna Stewart is once again brings the songs and show stopping performances of the Queen of Country to stages across Northern Ireland.
After a temporary break following ill health the 47-year-old is once again donning the Dolly wig to bring a packed show of fan favourites to life in a show that will have everyone singing along to the likes of 9to5, Coat Of Many Colours, I Will Always Love You and Jolene.
Having already sold out dates in Lisburn, Belfast and further afield Dolly’s Rockin’ Country Show has dates confirmed across the country between now and early next year.
“I started performing as Dolly in 2011,” said Donna. “It was just meant to be for one night at a friend’s birthday, but this lead to a stream of bookings.”
But the shows took a toll.
“My shows were very fast paced, two and a half hours of being ‘Dolly’ is a lot of fun, but exhausting! I pride myself on attention to detail, so I wear real hair wigs, custom made replica costumes and the trademark six-inch heels. After the shows I had a good chat with the audience and get photos with them.
“This meant I was on my feet for up to four hours. It was not good for my back that had given me trouble since I was 17 years old.
“Eventually I had to hang up my wig for about a year or so in order to spend time focusing on my health. I have several other chronic pain issues and I was also diagnosed with a brain aneurysm that could literally burst at any time.
“It was a very difficult decision to stop performing even temporarily. I never once said I would stop for good. Even at my lowest ebb.”
Now Donna is back revved up and ready to go again.
“Eventually I realised I couldn’t be without Dolly in my life any longer so thanks to my wonderful partner Niall Toman and the rest of the Dolly show crew Laura Hanna, Anne McAteer & Dale Armstrong, we’re back and bigger than ever before.”
And, as always Donna and her team chose their tracks carefully.
“The show aims to emulate country icon Dolly Parton at her 80s best right up until today.
“We carefully chose the greatest hits that people love and remember and even if you’re not a die-hard Dolly fan you’ll certainly catch yourself toe tapping at some point throughout the night.
“Having spent many years in musical theatre both as a director and producer and a performer we make sure to include the pizazz and vibrancy of a West End show no matter how big or small the venue we play in” explained Donna.
The new fun, floor-filling show! Dolly & friends provide an energetic unforgettable night. Donna is a stickler for attention to detail and has studied dolly’s voice and performances since the 1980s, during this show Donna plays custom made Dolly replica guitars & banjo, whilst wearing reproduction costumes made and updated in coordination with Dolly and with real hair wigs styled by the best hair stylists Northern Ireland has to offer.
The Dolly show provides everything at every venue.
“We provide, sound, light, play Dolly’s popular hits old and new, with Dolly’s friends providing a party atmosphere singing the best rock & country hits.”
And, the evidence of the popularity is there with testimonies from promoters and more importantly the 14,000 social media followers.
Forthcoming dates include Friday November 30 (The Stables, Groomsport), Thursday January 10 (Cabaret Supper Club, Belfast) and Saturday January 19 (Crumlin Road Gaol, Belfast).
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