9 to 5 @ Savoy Theatre*

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Tickets and more information: https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/9-to-5-the-musical/savoy-theatre/
Booking until: 31st August 2019
Production Photos by: Craig Sugden + Pamela Raith
Run time: 2hr 15mins

Having initially premiered on Broadway in 2009, 9 to 5 The Musical has finally made it’s way to the West End. Based on the movie of the same name and featuring music & lyrics by Dolly Parton, 9 to 5 follows three female colleagues who plan to teach their sexist male boss a lesson for making them feel reductive because they are women. Having never seen the movie, I didn’t really know what to expect. But, like a good Dolly Parton banger, the show is ultimately splashy and fun with lots of heart.

9 TO 5 THE MUSICAL. Caroline Sheen 'Violet Newstead', Natalie McQueen 'Doralee Rhodes', Amber Davies 'Judy Bernly'. Photo Pamela Raith

Patricia Resnick’s book has office culture down to a T and ticks everything off the checklist. Colleagues bonding over hatred? Check. Internalised misogyny against another colleague? Check. An overpowering man who sits higher up on the hierarchy ladder and thinks because he’s slightly higher up than you, he can make comments and just turn the entire office environment into an awful one? BIG FAT CHECK. This is the man, Franklin Hart Jr, who has made office life a bland, boring and frustrating one for our protagonists. He is played by Brian Conley, who does a really great job in portraying the creepiness of Franklin, even if at times his singing voice doesn’t sound suited for the country-esque score, he certainly makes up for it in his acting.

9 TO 5 THE MUSICAL. Natalie McQueen 'Doralee Rhodes'. Photo Craig Sugden

Caroline Sheen is currently appearing as Violet Newstead, a single mum and widower who is feeling frustrated that despite her skillset in office management, she’s been reduced to just the boss’ secretary. And it’s not surprising when your boss is a piece of shit. As Caroline is only stepping into the role of Violet until Louise Redknapp’s return on the 25th March, definitely try and catch her performance if you can, because she’s fantastic. Also starring is Natalie McQueen as Doralee Rhodes who, if the fake boobs and hair doesn’t give it away, is the same character Dolly Parton played in the film. Natalie’s performance is comedic and heartful while delivering a very strong southern accent without sounding like a Dolly Parton rip off, she was utterly brilliant and her rendition of Backwards Barbie was beautiful. Our remaining protagonist is Judy Bernly, who is experiencing her first job after her husband left her, played by Amber Davies. A lot of people were skeptical when she was cast due to her reality TV background. Firstly, educate yourselves and have a look at her MT training. Secondly, actually go and watch her performance and judge for yourselves because I thought she was great and really well cast. Her performance of Get Out and Stay Out was really fantastic. But undoubtedly, the show is stolen by the iconic Bonnie Langford as Roz, who is head over heels in love with Franklin. Miss Langford does not come to play when it comes to doing high kicks and splits, she really shines in this role.

9 TO 5 THE MUSICAL. Caroline Sheen 'Violet Newstead', Amber Davies 'Judy Bernly', Natalie McQueen 'Doralee Rhodes' and company. Photo Craig Sugden (2)

Overall, 9 to 5 is honestly a bucketload of fun while still making sure political commentary is at the forefront of the show, with unequal pay between men and women for doing the same job still ringing true today. Highlighting some fantastic performances and an entertaining score by Dolly Parton, what’s not to love? Definitely check out 9 to 5 if you’re looking for some glitz, glamour and fun on a night out.

Until next time,

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