9 to 5 Review

Nottingham Theatre Royal – until Saturday 30 October 2021.

Reviewed by Louise Ford.


Pour myself a cup of ambition 

The power of Dolly Parton is all around, in a good way. From the writing of the music and the lyrics to the cameo appearance setting the scene and moving the plot along. We all need a touch of Dolly in our lives.

The 1980’s film, based on the book by Patricia Resnick has been adapted for the stage and is currently touring the UK. It’s an up beat tale that touches on some important issues that sadly haven’t gone away today.  However in the musical the baddies get their comeuppance, thanks to Girl Power.

The story follows the office lives of three co-workers, all with different backgrounds, different stories but one common foe; the  old boys’ club that dominates their workplace and their bigoted boss in particular.

So we have Violet (Louise Redknapp), Judy (Vivian Panka) and Doralee (Stephanie Chandon), all at different stages of life, working hard to manage their ambitions, their home lives and their families. All three are played sympathetically with just the right amount of feistiness, naivety and drive. Violet ties the scenes together in a gentle understated way.  Doralee is a toned down Dolly all big hair, high heels and a push up bra! Work those assets. Judy is the naive new comer who under the care and tutelage of her co-workers blossoms into a career woman of the 80’s.

The villain of the piece is Franklin Hart Jnr (Sean Needham) the CEO of Consolidated Companies a proper pantomime baddie who slimes,  gropes and ogles his way through the company. 

The sets are outlined by 80’s computers which nicely frame the scenes which range from the offices, the roof top and the bedroom. The costumes are bright 1980’s suits with lots of gold buttons and lapels! There are some good ensemble dance routines which enhanced the moving scenery and set changes.

The production is book-ended by the eponymous 9 to 5 which has the audience singing and clapping along in appreciation and enjoyment. Some of the humour and one-liners are a little Carry-on in nature (I still miss Dick. I’m going nuts with my nuts in a truss) which for me jarred but I think I’m in the minority there. The audience loved the slap stick elements and innuendos! Note to self must get out more. So gather around the coffee machine, add an extra spray of girl power and keep on workin’ until your dreams come true!