I wasn’t sure what to expect from 9 to 5. I love a musical as much as the next person and who doesn’t love a good sing-along to Dolly Parton but I was unsure how well it would be executed. Biography-esque? Too cheesy? A tribute to the Tennessee country singer? It wasn’t until a friend pointed out that this was an adaptation of the 1980 film 9 to 5 in which Dolly Parton co-starred with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, I realised that actually this could work.
Parton wrote all of the production’s music and lyrics, including the theme song which was nominated for an Academy Award and a Grammy. Dolly is featured throughout the show in various pre-recorded images played from a large clock, she even introduces the cast and also kicks off the finale of the show.
The show itself is rather impressive, telling the tale of three women who all come from different walks of 80’s life working for an egotistical and frightfully sexist boss. Violet (widowed), Judy (divorced) and Doralee (backwards barbie) all sick of the 9 to 5 slog who fall into a revenge frenzy on their pursuit for equal pay, flexible hours and in-house daycare. Somehow in this whimsical and fun performance, they end up smoking marijuana on a rooftop terrace and suspending their boss, Mr Hart who takes on the role of pantomime villain from the ceiling in his finest BDSM get up.
Featuring heavily themes of misogyny, the rise of women in the workplace and how it feels to miss out on a promotion, I found myself persistently reminded of #MeToo and how 40 years later, it feels ironic that we still have some way to go. I would steer away from taking your teenage daughter unless you want her asking why Mr Harte secretary was stripped her clothes off and what ‘banging the boss’ means.
9 to 5 packs the feel-good factor and will bring out your belly laugh. Parton’s glitz and glamour are portrayed in the set as the stage explodes with colour with outfits to match. The use of old computer monitors to execute intricate scene changes was also a great 80’s touch.
As with any musical, I want the goosebumps and Caroline Sheen, Amber Davies and Georgina castle produced the goods. Their voices were faultless and you could feel the raw emotion. Overall, a great show that I would recommend to friends and family looking for an easy to watch, playful musical. So, what are you waiting for? Tumble out of bed and stumble over to Wales Millenium Centre and book your tickets, whilst there’s some left
9 to 5, the musical is showing at the Wales Millenium Centre from the 29th October - 2nd November 2019.