9 to 5 THE MUSICAL (musical)
NOT SUITABLE FOR THOSE AGED UNDER 12. CONTAINS COMIC ADULT REFERENCES, DRUG
USE AND STRONG LANGUAGE.
DOLLY PARTON DOES NOT APPEAR IN PERSON IN THIS PRODUCTION.
The story of Doralee, Violet and Judy - three workmates pushed to boiling
point by their sexist and egotistical boss. Concocting a plan to kidnap and
turn the tables on their despicable supervisor, will the girls manage to
reform their office - or will events unravel when the CEO pays an unexpected
visit? Inspired by the cult film this hilarious new West End production is
about teaming up, standing up and taking care of business!
Bonnie Langford plays ‘Roz Keith’, with Caroline Sheen as ‘Violet Newstead’,
Chelsea Halfpenny as ‘Judy Bernly’, Natalie
McQueen as ‘Doralee Rhodes’ and Brian Conley as ‘Franklin Hart’.
Bonnie Langford, Caroline Sheen and Natalie McQueen will extend their runs
as ‘Roz Keith’, ‘Violet Newstead’ and ‘Doralee Rhodes’ until 11th January
David Hasselhoff will play Franklin Hart Jnr until
8th February 2020.
The cast also includes Victoria
Anderson, Alexander Bartles, Simon Campbell, Alexander Day, Rhiane Drummond,
Demmileigh Foster, Molly-May Gardiner, Llandyll Gove, Ben Irish, Jenny Legg,
Natasha Mould, Jon Reynolds, James Royden-Lyley, Giles Surridge, Antoine
Thomas-Sturge, Richard Taylor-Woods, Sasha Wareham and Emily Woodford.
The show is written by Patricia Resnick, with music and lyrics by Dolly
Parton. It is directed by Jeff Calhoun, choreography by Lisa Stevens, design
by Tom Rogers, lighting design by Howard Hudson, musical supervision,
arrangements and orchestrations by Mark Crossland, musical direction by
Andrew Hilton and casting by Victoria Roe.
(seen at the afternoon performance on 27th February 2019). Some actors
have now left the cast.
We have all
become accustomed to being shouted at whenever anyone wants to raise an
important issue like, as here, overt sexism in the workplace. The major
fascination for the monkey at this show is that, well, it didn't. The points
were made but, one (cheer-worthy) speech late in the second act, aside, they
were raised with intelligent humour - and had all the more impact for it.
result is a fun evening with a nicely pointed kick to it. Something of a
slow-burn to start, even title number "9 to 5" doesn't quite land right at the
top of the show, and "Around Here," introducing the characters fully, seems to
take more time. Stick with it, though, as it all kicks into gear when Doralee
(Natalie McQueen) gives "Backwoods Barbie" with deep understanding. Suddenly,
the other characters become three-dimensional as director Jeff Calhoun has the
space to really open up the script with the musical numbers that follow.
up in that vein is Roz (Bonnie Langford), stopping the show and makes every
person in the house wince at just how amazingly flexible she is. Truthfully,
she's worth the price of the ticket on her own, and with evil boss Franklin Hart
Jnr (Brian Conley) reminds us just how far experience still takes the best
performers. Conley hangs around, literally, for much of the show and is on fine
form in a role that becomes better written as the evening continues.
show continues, Violet (Caroline Sheen) and Judy (Amber Davies) also become our
friends and have us willing them on. Sheen's ambitious yet frustrated budding
executive and Davies's downtrodden newcomer burst into life and Davies's "Get
Out and Stay Out" is finely played.
There's good supporting work too from
Lucinda Lawrence (Margaret) who knows how to go from drunk to dry. Sasha Wareham
(Candy Striper) is an amusing turn, and the ensemble dance up a storm under the
Lisa Stevens choreography.
Sure, there's a few odd diversions - though the
hospital scene is worth it - and maybe having Ms Parton herself appear on screen
to hold things together suggests something missing in the construction. Also,
there's sometimes a slightly heavy touch where some humour should be and
vice-versa, but that's a minor quibble and may be down to timing as much as the
Far, far more than a light-hearted romp, yet not too heavy given the
subject matter, and with a cast on its absolute top form, this is an impressive
show suitable for anyone who isn't a chauvinist pig... or perhaps a chauvinist
pig who needs a warning...
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