9 to 5
21st November 2018
Pomegranate Theatre, Chesterfield
Type of Production
Author: Joyce Handbury
9 To 5 is a musical based on the 1980 film, of the same name, with music and lyrics by Dolly Parton and book by Patricia Resnick. It is set in the 1970‘s and pushed to the boiling point, three female co-workers Violet, Judy and Doralee, concoct a plan to get even with the sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot they call their boss, Franklin Hart. This results in the ‘disappearance’ of Hart and the three give their workplace a dream makeover, taking control of the company that had always kept them down.
The three ladies are the mainstay of the show and what a fabulous trio they were. Sarah Morell was outstanding as Violet Newstead, the Head Secretary at Consolidated Industries, who has never been given the chance to rise above senior supervisor status. She totally commanded the stage; her comic timing, acting and singing skills were just superb. Alison Doram had the challenging task of playing Doralee Rhodes, the role played by Dolly Parton in the film. She portrayed the bubbly, sexy and happily married country girl, in both singing and acting, with great poise and assurance - a super performance. Georgii Bailey was excellent as Judy Bernly displaying a real vulnerability following her husband’s departure and being forced to seek work, she finds herself at Consolidated Industries having no previous secretarial experience. With help and guidance from both Violet and Doralee it didn’t take her long to be rid of those insecurities and she was soon telling her husband to ‘Get Out and Stay Out’. Georgii sang this number brilliantly and her final high note was amazing! The three ladies had great chemistry on stage, their solo songs and their three-part harmonies were top notch as were the various comical scenarios they found themselves in especially the farcical hospital and ‘cannabis’ scenes. Julie Metcalfe was very much over the top as Administrative Assistant Roz Keith who is totally infatuated with Hart. She brought out the comic elements admirably and her energetic dancing was terrific.
Robert Spencer was extremely good as the callous, lecherous and domineering Franklin Hart Junior. He has a great singing voice and his delivery of ‘Here For You’ was suitably sleazy and arrogant. Andy Moore was charming as Joe who so admires Violet, and the duet with her, ‘Let Love Grow’, was so expressively and delightfully delivered. Excellent support came from the many other named parts who were all worthy of praise.
The choreography was of the highest standard and the dancing, especially that by the named dancers, was exceptionally executed. I loved the dream sequences when each of the ladies enact their revenge on Hart with ‘Dance Of Death’ (Judy and Hart), ‘Cowgirl’s Revenge’ (Doralee and Hart) and ‘Potion Notion’ (Violet and Hart) in each of these ‘dreams’ the wonderful performances by the ladies and Hart, was enhanced by the exquisite dancing. The scenery from Scenic Projects was admirable, loved the sliding panels that replaced the need for Tab Curtains. Good lighting and sound together with a great band, fabulous costumes and a splendid enthusiastic and energetic cast produced a fun-packed, vibrant show. Congratulations to everyone involved.