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9 to 5

Date

13th April 2016

Society

Berwick-upon-Tweed Amateur Operatic Society

Venue

Maltings, Berwick-upon-Tweed

Type of Production

Musical

Director

Jane Rutherford

Musical Director

Ron Creasey

Choreographer

Sheila Bradford

Report

Author: Kathryn Curry

To tackle this newly released modern show is a real achievement for Berwick Operatic society and they deserve credit for putting their heart and soul into staging it and making it such a successful show. 9 to 5 The Musical with music and lyrics by Dolly Parton was set in the late 1970s and is a hilarious story of friendship and revenge where 3 female co-workers concoct a plan to get even with their egotistical, lying, and hypocritical bigot they call their boss.

The 3 leading ladies were extremely well cast and had obviously researched their parts in this show very thoroughly indeed as this was reflected in their very creative and competent performances. ‘Violet Newstead’ (Lisa Summers) held the office together with her officious manner. Lisa always plays a role to perfection and this one was no exception, she was confident, expressive and her timing was excellent. ‘Doralee Rhodes’ (Zoe Graham) was perfect for this part and her superb country and western voice was just wonderful in her musical numbers. ‘Judy Bernly’ (Diane Renner) the shy newly appointed person to the office had us eating out of her hand. Diane always lives every part she plays and in this role she quickly convinced us of her being unsure about being back at work. In the second act her solo song was sung with such feeling for me it was the highlight of the show and Diane at her best. The audience loved it!  ‘Franklin Hart’ (Euan Duthie) really led the ladies a dance and was very convincing in his portrayal of being a womaniser and gave a very sound performance and I believe it’s the first time someone has been flown on stage in ‘The Maltings’ so well done Euan.  ‘Roz Keith’ (Louise Wood) played the comedy role with her usual panache and style and set herself apart from the rest of the office with her scheming ways.

This was a fun show with some tricky scene changes and there were many of them, however Ron Creasey, Musical Director with his lively orchestra held these scene changes together, treating us to some really superb up tempo music, thoroughly enjoyed by myself and the audience. This band of musicians are surely some of the best on the circuit and always add that extra dimension to a show, especially being led by Ron Creasey. A mention must also go to Ian Clarke as S.M. who always works with quiet expertise and competence to make sure the shows flow effortlessly.

This thought provoking show with comedy and romance flowed well, the main principals were stylish and slick and were backed with sound performances from other experienced cast with minor roles, namely  Denise Clarke, Susan Potts, Georgina Faed, Slink Jadranko, Sandra Storey, Nicola Foggan, Cameron Roberston, Ian Lowson and Fergus Rae. Costumes were authentic, therefore well done to members for finding most of them, however a small comment, some of the wigs were not quite right and I sometimes feel better ‘not’ than something that is so obviously a ‘wig’!

This newly released show was obviously an audience hit and my ‘congratulations’ go to all involved for making this a very enjoyable evening. Hard work for cast, crew and production team but it paid off and yet another winner for Berwick Operatic Society.