It’s taken 30 years to bring the Oscar-nominated 9 to 5 from the screen to the stage. Transferring iconic films to the stage is always a risk. Sometimes it works and sometimes, sadly in this case it doesn’t.
Despite being given the vintage treatment of big hairdos, chunky phones, typewriters and orange décor, its plot is predictable and tired and with the exception of the title song, its music doesn’t stay with you.
The tale of three office workers, who turn the tables on their sexist boss, against a backdrop of poison, murder and kidnap, the production is fast moving and seamless with excellent choreography that moves the show along. I have my doubts, however about the relevance of using Dolly Parton as a book end projection.
As Violet Newstead, the office manager, turned down for promotion because of her gender, Jackie Clune is convincing, sympathetic and determined. In the Dolly Parton role, Amy Lennox is outstanding as the feisty, gun toting, southern belle,Doralee Rhodes whilst Natalie Casey, as the office newcomer, ticks all the right boxes, at times her characterization is just a tad too much over the top. .
Spending a good part of the show literally hanging around Ben Richard’s, Franklyn J Hart is perfection. He’s an arrogant, egotistical, hypocritical bigot in every sense of the word who gets his just desserts and a pair of sparkling pink underpants!
But the surprise of the night was Bonnie Langford’s Roz Keith, the bi-spectacled spinster with the hots for her boss. She proved that age is no barrier to being sexy, stripping down to basque and stockings and descending into a sensuous slow tango that showed off her incredible flexibility.
As a musical, 9 to 5 couldn’t survive without its ensemble and this production is blessed with a high energy, multi-skilled one who sing, dance, move the set around and play numerous cameo roles. Lori Haley Fox’s, alcoholic secretary, is absolutely pure gold in every way.
With a hard working live orchestra under the direction of Mark Crossland 9-5 is an evening of pure nostalgic fun especially for those secretaries of the 70’s!
To June 1st.