Thursday, 16 May 2013

9 TO 5 (UK Tour) Review May 2013

Based on the movie of the same name, 9 To 5 is the stage musical creation of Dolly Parton. The show opened on Broadway in April 2009 and sadly closed 5 months later. It has since toured the US and a new production premiered at the Manchester Opera House in October 2012. The revised production is now touring to theatres across the UK and is bigger and better than ever. 

Girl power is most definitely back in this fantastically fun adventure of three female office workers who show their sexist, egotistical, bigoted, chauvinist male boss that they are not to be messed around - turning the office from bland and characterless to the most dynamic Dollywood palace with high energy dance numbers and plenty of pink glitter. 

We're greeted by Dolly herself as the large clock suddenly becomes a portal into Dolly's Hollywood office. She acts as a narrator to the story, similarly to Blood Brothers but without the creepiness. Jackie Clune stars as widow Violet and shines in 'One Of The Boys'. Amy Lennox is the Parton of the show - the busty and blonde Doralee Rhodes. In the role originated by Miss Dolly herself, Lennox is a perfect tribute yet sustains a strong and individual character. Her 'Backwoods Barbie' is one of the more beautiful and serene moments. Perhaps the shiniest gem is Natalie Casey as Judy Bernley. The comical yet vulnerable character has the audience at many times in hysterics and as with any good story of empowerment and overcoming, 'Get Out And Stay Out' is definitely one of the show's highlights. 

The Bill's Ben Richards couldn't be further from his recent stage appearance as Tick in Priscilla Queen Of The Desert. Here he is the big bad boss, Mr Hart and is commanding of the stage - until that is the girls tie him up and dangle him above the bed with a garage door mechanism. Unfortunately the climax of act 1 where he is launched into the air failed to happen as he wasn't clipped in properly and had to finish the number on the bed with the ropes swinging around him. It's a very technical show but ran smoothly besides. Returning to the show this week after time off for filming, Richards rejoins the show effortlessly. One of the most hilarious moments 'Heart to Hart' involves a passionate dance between Mr Hart and his assistant Roz Keith played hilariously by Anita Louise Combe who recently replaced Bonnie Langford. 

Whilst 9 To 5 might not be the most original or groundbreaking musical out there, what it is, is a fun and feel-good night out with tonnes of talent and a high production value. Thoroughly entertaining and listening to Dolly Parton say "Thank-you Wolverhampton!" was something I never thought I'd hear. There is still some good availability  for tickets at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre where the show plays until Saturday 18th May! Book here

View the shows trailer below!

Cast List: Jackie Clune, Amy Lennox, Natalie Casey, Ben Richards, Anita Louise Combe, Mark Willshire, Marlon Moore, Tom Andrew Hargreaves, Philip Bertioli, Lori Haley Fox, Gemma Maclean, Lisa Bridge, Peter McPherson, Andrew Waldron, Lauren Stroud, Nyroy Dixon, Sasi Strallen, Ashley Andrews, Sinead Kenny, Persephone Fitzpatrick and James Lacey.

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