New Wimbledon Theatre – until 23 October 2021
Reviewed by Carly Burlinge
Dolly Parton presents the musical 9 to 5 which tells the story of three women Violet, Judy and Doralee (Louise Redknapp, Vivian Panka and Stephanie Chandos) who all work in a very male orientated American office in the 1980’s, where they all end up getting pushed to their limit! Their male egotistical boss Mr Hart (Sean Needham) has no respect for women, continuously harasses them in one way or another and sexually discriminates against them. They on the other hand want to be fairly treated, they are fighting against equality and harassment and want female empowerment within the office! Then when things start to get too much, they suddenly find themselves in very complicated circumstances, where their boss becomes their hostage! They need each other’s help in order to get out of the situation that they have found themselves in and during this time friendships are discovered and made along the way. Enabling them to also take hold of the office changing it for the better.
The opening of 9 to 5 was just fabulous with lots of glitz and glam to offer with Dolly Parton appearing on screen throughout the production with her fabulous song 9 to 5 coming alive. Including some amazing 80’s outfits and fabulous singing from a very tremendously talented and competent cast. The theatre definitely came alive from the beginning to the end. The production was very upbeat offering great entertainment, much fun and laughter and some risky behaviour with some great one liners and smutty puns making the audience laugh out loud enjoying every moment.
Violet (Louise Redknapp) plays an Influential, confident self-assuring character her performance was strong throughout offering the audience some brilliant acting as well as a great voice I especially enjoyed the song One of the Boys where she gave it her all.
Doralee (Stephanie Chandos) plays the country girl that’s misunderstood for the way she looks and dresses, but is smart underneath it all. She plays her part amazingly well with some very powerful vocals keeping in character at all times with her southern accent keeping the audience entertained specially with her spectacular song Backwoods Barbie.
Judy (Vivian Panka) plays the nervous, shy young lady that comes across very innocent but as the story goes on, she comes out of her shell somewhat! Which has the audience in stiches at times and was very entertaining to watch.
Mr Hart (Sean Needham) although he plays an obnoxious undermining boss, he brings a lot of humour to the production with many jokes and rude innuendoes that the audience found hilarious at times and very entertaining.
There was smooth transitioning of scenery and props throughout the production which added to the whole experience. Lighting was also very impressive and the back screen was very effected with the scene changes.
I have to admit I haven’t had so much fun at a production in a while. I’d thoroughly recommend it – one not to be missed. Just fabulous!!