9 to 5 the Musical (UK Tour), New Victoria Theatre | Review

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

9 to 5 the Musical (UK Tour)
New Victoria Theatre
Reviewed on Friday 20th October 2017 by Glenys Balchin

9 to 5 is a very enjoyable show, with strong performances by the cast, a great set, fabulous costumes and toe tapping songs to sing-a-long to. The three leading ladies give excellent performances with each having their own individual strength. It certainly feels like a West End performance rather than a touring show at a regional theatre. The storyline is executed well and takes the audience to the final conclusion that it is a man’s world.

The three leading ladies work exceedingly well together, as a band of sisters and leave us with the hope that they are that strong and united off the stage as well. Violet is played by Laura Tyrer, who is the whole package with a charismatic personality and triple threat abilities that wow; she shines within the cast.
Judy played by Amber Davies for me is the real surprise of the night, having last seen her on Love Island. I hadn’t envisaged that she is such a great singer but Get Out and Stay Out is a real highlight as she belts it out so powerfully. Georgina Castle as Doralee gives a very good performance with only the occasional blip in her deep south American accent. It is a hard act to follow when the legend that is Dolly Parton, announces at the beginning of the show that Doralee “is her”! This could colour your opinion of her performance but Georgina held her own and made the role hers.
Accolade, also must go to Lucinda Lawrence who is Roz Keith and gives a strong performance as the pent up frosty, delusional, hopelessly in love secret admirer of Franklin Hart Jnr. Her comedic timing, balletic dance movement and strong singing voice make her a very watchable character.
Sean Needham’s, performance as the male chauvinist Franklin Hart Jnr is perfect, he portrays the male ego eccentricities and bigoted views of women, in a comic manner. But these are issues that have truthfully been faced by many of the women in the audience. Both Lawrence and Needham have a real chemical interaction with each other and work well as a comedy act.
The rest of the cast give a great performance, supporting the main characters and story line with energy and enthusiasm to deliver an excellent show. I have to mention one person that stands out for me in the ensemble is Ross Lee Fowkes who plays Bob; his acting singing and dancing showed great intensity, I was quite transfixed.

Finally, as already mentioned the stage lighting, the scenery and costumes are all perfect for the 80s story line. Having been a girl of the shoulder pads and big hair era, it is all well delivered. It is sad that the political message, that both Jane Fonda and Patricia Resnick so, cleverly put across in a comedic approach on film and stage is still an on-going fight forty-one years on from the film release. I expect that it will be our children’s, children who will finally benefit from equality.
Patricia Resnick has said, “that it won’t be until 2059 that American women will achieve pay equity”. That will be 80 years on since the film was released. I believe that most women could step forward and give an account of male chauvinism and sexual predators in the work place. The show delivers this message in a funny and comic style with great songs but really it is quite sad and profound that we are still talking equality in the 21st-century. There should be a sequel, a comic-tragedy featuring recent events and the “me too” campaign that shows we still have a long way to go. 
I would recommend taking your daughters along to see the show and explaining to them why it was produced and what the political message is behind it, and for them to be firmly told that they are equal to the males in their life. All that said and done, I just wanted to say it was a great show, very watchable and I really enjoyed it and would recommend to others.
9 to 5 the Musical runs at the New Victoria Theatre until 19th October before continuing its tour