9 to 5

5
Touring production seen at the Theatre Royal Plymouth.
By Robert Iles

What a great night out this turned out to be!

I had heard good things about this show and was not disappointed, this is a real feel good, fun, entertaining musical delivered with gusto and charm by a highly professional cast. This is a story of female equality in the workplaces of the USA in the 1980s, though with echoes of some modern issues where we have seen high-powered men using their positions to exploit the women around them. Serious topics handled in a lighthearted but still powerful way ... entertaining and effective.

The powerhouse that is Dolly Parton acts as narrator through video clips, a suprisingly effective approach that really works. In fact, the projection throughout was quite amazing, supporting the simple set and providing really effective backdrops and visual support, especially to what floor of Consolidated Industries building we were on! Slightly less effective was the sound balance which emphasised the music meaning that some words were lost as they simply couldn't be heard. Shame.

The three main ladies,Violet (Louise Redknapp), Judy (Vivian Panka) and the Dolly-a-like Doralee (Stephanie Chandos) were excellent, both individually and as a "team", carrying the story forward with pace and energy. Sean Needham's Franklin was endlessly funny - a great comic performance with just the right level of audience awareness, very clever. Julia j Nagle's Roz was also right on the money - her dance routine was fantastic and her timing spot on throughout.

The Chorus in this production are really quite central to the whole experience. As well as moving the set with choreographed skill, their high energy performances throughout are truly to be commended - not a slack moment or weak point. They really do carry much of the energy of the show.

A brilliant night out. Thank you all ...

This is Louise Redknapp's last week on the tour before the role of Violet is taken over by Claire Sweeney.


 
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