Anything but 9 to 5 for Peter

Peter McPherson and (below) during rehearsals for the show. Pictures by Simon Annard
Peter McPherson and (below) during rehearsals for the show. Pictures by Simon Annard

STAGE star Peter McPherson is back in his native North-East to star in a musical made famous by Dolly Parton – and it’s anything but a 9 to 5 slog.

The 29-year-old, from Hartlepool, is loving every minute of his career as a performer in major theatre productions.

He’s been gripped by a love of the spotlight ever since he was a teenager and now he’s back in the region for a show at the Empire Theatre in Sunderland.

From Monday to Saturday next week, he will play the role of Clint Copperfield in the show called 9 to 5.

The music and the lyrics were written by showbiz legend Dolly Parton and the theatre version stars TV’s Natalie Casey of Hollyoaks fame and Bonnie Langford

Peter, from the Burn Valley area of town, said: “To me, what is great is that I get to change what I do every so often. I am in a show for a week and then I get to move on to another one.”

He remembers how, as a youngster, he was asked by a careers advisor what he wanted to do and replied: “Drama.”

The advisor then asked him what his second favourite job was – but Peter was determined to make a success of being on the stage.

His mum Brenda, 52, who works in a Hartlepool sandwich shop, and dad Peter, 53, a tiler, live in the town.

Peter junior is delighted to be back in the region so he can “stay at home.”

“Mum cooks for me and my dad picks me up and takes me home. It is lovely being here.”

The former student of Stranton Junior School, Brierton Secondary and Stockton Riverside 
College, made his first appearance on stage as a 15-year-old.

He remembered: “I was going to the Braithwaite-Dowson Academy of Dance And Drama on York Road and they were putting on a variety show with pieces in it including Cats.”

Since then, he has starred in UK tours including Cats as well as Evita, and Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.

Now comes 9 to 5 at the Empire Theatre and Peter said: “I play Clint and he is one of the boys’ club in a male dominated workplace.”

He said he loves North East audiences because they “get into the show” whereas other areas of the UK are much more reserved and only show their appreciation though ovations at the end.

9 to 5 runs at the Empire from Monday to Saturday next week.