OK I’ll be completely honest and say that 9 to 5 the musical didn’t fill me with a whole lot of hope. A musical written by Dolly Parton and filled to the brim with star castings didn’t particularly appeal to me but I was incredibly intrigued. In amongst those big celebrity names were Natalie McQueen and Caroline Sheen – 2 musical theatre stars – so that was a good enough reason for me to get along to the Savoy Theatre and see this musical for myself.
9 to 5 the Musical is set in 1970s America, I assume somewhere in the deep south from the accents. The majority of the story takes place in a busy office run by male chauvinist pig Franklin Hart Jr. When enough is finally enough and rat poison mix up threatens to wreak havock, office veteran Violet Newstead (Caroline Sheen), newbie Judy Bernly (Amber Davies) and misunderstood hottie Doralee Rhodes (Natalie McQueen) club together to take down their vile boss and make a change. Their plan is outrageous, dangerous and downright hilarious and provides the perfect light hearted remedy to our own busy lives.
Nothing has been spared in the design of this production. It feels apt and flashy. Although quite minimalistic, lots of prop changes keep things interesting and the team have successfully given the whole production an flashy retro feel with wonderfully ghastly colour block clothing and big beautiful box computers.
In amongst the hilarity and utter chaos, this story tackles important and sometimes incredibly uncomfortable topics exceptionally well. The humour is always well pitched in a way that never feels disrespectful or off piste. This is of course thanks to stellar writing but credit must also go to a brilliant cast.
Fronting the production our 3 leading ladies are a powerhouse of sass. Natalie McQueen never fails to amaze me but her powerful vocals and intimate acting blew me away in this production. She is a star. It is a pleasure to see Caroline Sheen in a leading role. It feels like she’s made for this part and it’s a huge shame that she’ll be leaving the production soon – sure to be a huge loss. Amber Davies is well suited to her timid role and finishes off this threesome perfectly. Together, these three sound heavenly. Their trios are quite a spectacle and an undoubted highlight of the show. Bonnie Langford has definitely still got it. She’s absolutely hilarious, high energy and impressively flexible. Finally, Brian Conley does a brilliant job of Franklin Hart Jr. He makes the character incredibly creepy and unlikeable which is pivotal to the entire production working well. Last but most definitely not least, the ensemble brings bounds of energy and enthusiasm to the production creating an infectious and joyous energy which is palpable in the auditorium!
9 to 5 the Musical is as cheesy as you’d expect but brilliantly funny and ultimately heartwarming. Thanks to the powerhouse of leading ladies, you’ll be treated so some of the most exceptional vocals in the west end right now. For a brilliantly entertaining, light hearted and fun night out – this musical has got you covered!
You can catch 9 to 5 the Musical at the London’s stunning Savoy Theatre AND they have just announced a UK Tour so you can also enjoy it when it heads your way! For tickets and info click here.
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*Production Images by Production Company