“…is a simple story which offers some entertainment, but it lacks depth of plot and character”
West End Theatre Guide
9 to 5 is a musical by Patricia Resnick based on the 1980 movie which starred Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. Following successful runs in Los Angeles and on Broadway, the musical has made its UK premiere at the Savoy Theatre.
The musical follows the story of three working women, Doralee, Judy and Violet, played by Natalie McQueen (Kinky Boots, Murder Ballad, Wicked), Amber Davies (Bring It On, My Favourite Year, Memphis), and Louise Rednapp (Eternal (music), The Hot Potato (TV), Cabaret), and their plot against their sexist boss, Franklin Hart, who was played by Brian Conley (The Brian Conley Show (TV) Me and My Girl, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang).
Covering themes of sexism, the grindstone, and fighting the boss, this musical offers nothing new. Conley delivers a series of jokes which, though in poor taste in today’s society, are very funny. McQueen, Davies and Rednapp exhibit good vocals throughout, but the highlight number of the show is undoubtedly ‘9 to 5’ which bookends the show. The standout performance in this production is Bonnie Langford (42nd Street, Cats, Eastenders (TV)) as Roz Keith who struts her stuff in a wonderfully inappropriate office tango with Conley.
9 to 5 is a simple story which offers some entertainment, but it lacks depth of plot and character. The blunt and undisguised sexism of Franklin Hart is a snapshot of the ’80s working landscape, but it feels dated and far removed from modern society. The excellent cast do their best with a lacklustre script.