9 to 5 The Musical

Date 23rd February 2023
Society Westcliff High School for Girls
Venue Westcliff High School for Girls
Type of Production Musical
Director Mr J Cottee
Musical Director Mrs A Daniels
Choreographer Ms E Birch

Report

Author: Deborah Jea

The three ladies are the mainstay of the show and what a fabulous trio they were. Sophie Morrison 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. Marisa Lee 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. Olivia Hayns 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’. Olivia 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. Shamsa Kiwanuka 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. 

Joe Balls 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. Oliver Bearman 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 was absolutely ideal – so well designed and the backstage staff must be congratulated. The set was very good, and the lighting plot was also well designed. Sound was consistent throughout, together with an amazing band and the scene changes/settings were carried out most efficiently by the cast and backstage crew and were co-ordinated beautifully. Fabulous costumes and a splendid enthusiastic and energetic cast produced a fun-packed, vibrant show. Many congratulations to the Production Team and to everyone involved and many thanks also for the wonderful hospitality that I received.