9 to 5

Date 25th July 2018
Society Orrell Musical & Dramatic Society
Venue St Michael’s Church Hall Wigan
Type of Production Musical
Director Diane Jones
Musical Director Linda Scott
Choreographer Jackie Webb

Report

Author: Patricia Connor


 “9 to 5” is a full of energy upbeat musical with very catchy musical numbers written by Dolly Parton in her inevitable style that we know so well. The show is based on the 1980 20th Century Fox Motion picture of the same name, which starred Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin  and Dolly Parton in the leading roles. The story taken from a book by Patricia Resnick, and based on the films screenplay by Resnick and Colin Higgins, follows three female co-workers who due to circumstances beyond their control end up devising  a plan to get even with their sexist, lying, bigot of a boss with very funny consequences. It is a fast paced musical which has been a big hit with audiences of all age groups, and has a mix of feminist indignation, lots of laughs, touching moments and a number of high energy musical numbers, and this production from Orrell Musical & Dramatic Society had them all which made for a successfull enjoyable show. 

The Production Team of Producer Diane Jones, Musical Director Linda Scott and Choreographer Jackie Webb, had at their disposal a number of  performers who gave us some very enjoyable singing and acting, notably the three talented ladies in the principle roles, they were Alison Hampson as Violet Newstead, Violet is upset because she has been passed over for promotion in favour of a male employee whom she trained,Victoria Fairhurst was the sexually harassed Executive Assistant Doralee Rhodes and Diane Jones not only produced the show, she also found time to play inexperienced, new employee, and recently separated, Judy Bernly. These three carried the show with lots of confidence at just the right pace, working well together, while giving very good entertaining performances, which is a necessity for the success of this show. Stephen Carletti gave a strong and sometimes comedic performance as the chauvinistic boss Franklin J Hart who finally receives his comeuppance by the end of the story, to the delight of the audience. Louise Taylor produced a good comedic interpretation of office mole and Hart’s Personal Assistant Roz Keith who has a secret passion for him,  performing the song “Heart to Heart” very well. Paul Regan was caring and understanding as Joe,Violets love interest and sang the lovely duet “ Let Love Grow “ beautifully with Alison . Other supporting performances included Natasha Dunne as Margaret the office drunk  David Jones as Dwayne Doralee’s husband,David Palin as Dick, Judy’s husband and Thomas Hoyle  as Josh, Violets son. The actors in the other smaller roles performed well producing some amusing characters and the Ensemble supported the principal cast very well working together as a team singing with lots of gusto and confidence, resulting in a very entertaining high-energy show. Diction, projection and clarity of words was good enabling the audience to follow the story easily, which was very important. American accents were good and maintained throughout the show and no one dropped out of character.
The production team, set builders and stage crew were able to develop a plan for staging this production within the limits afforded by the venue and along with  very good technical input which included a screen at the back of the stage used as a backdrop for showing pictures identifying the location of each scene and  showing a film of Dolly Parton who both opened  and closed the show, resulting in an excellent platform and environment for the cast to work on.  Thought must have gone into getting the costumes right for the characters and the era adding to the authenticity and feel of the show.
 The Orchestra led by Musical Director Linda Scott  supported the cast and played the very upbeat music at a suitable level of sound enabling the performers on stage to be heard by the audience. Choreography by Jackie Webb appeared just right for this type of production and the limits of the venue and was executed with lots of energy. 
 By the end of the show the three women have given their workplace a makeover which goes down very well with the chairman of the company Tinsworthy, (a nice little cameo from Ray Sims), that they are offered control of the company
Thank you very much for inviting my friend and I to see this very enjoyable production and well done to everyone involved in bringing this feel good show to the stage.