Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Sean Needham. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Sean Needham. Sort by date Show all posts

Wednesday 30 October 2019

9 to 5 The Musical (UK Tour), Wales Millennium Centre | Review

9 to 5 (UK Tour)
Wales Millennium Centre
Reviewed on Tuesday 29th October 2019 by Elisha Harris

9 to 5 The Musical is a sensational representation of what women had to endure when it was believed to be a ‘man's world’. Something which still plagues the modern day but is fortunately diminishing.

There’s nothing like escaping from your 9 to 5 reality to witness a world-class musical, and this production is most definitely that! This show is so unpredictable from start to finish. and everything is perfection. 

Amber Davies is impeccable, her comedic timing and powerhouse voice make for a perfect Judy. Amber presents the the purest transition from a reserved, meek housewife to a fearless, self assured business woman who will not take no for an answer.

The other two leading ladies, Caroline Sheen, who's temporarily moved from the West End production to the UK tour, and Georgina Castle blow the roof off the Millennium Centre. Between Caroline’s quick wit and gorgeous voice, and Georgina’s mesmerising vocal range, they compliment each other perfectly. I could listen to them sing all day long! 

The standout performance of the evening is Sean Needham who plays the ballsy, know it all boss, Franklin Hart Jr. He portrays the dishonest, antagonistic boss excellently. Sean really brings the role to life, he is witty, insanely entertaining and his facial expressions are priceless. For a character you’re meant to hate, it's hard not to belly laugh at every line he says- a real comical genius!

Overall this production is not one to miss, the ensemble are brilliant, the sound design is excellent, you can hear every voice individually when needed yet the harmonies were perfect. If you want to spend 2 hours in side-splitting, ball crunching laughter, 9 to 5 is the show for you! 

9 to 5 The Musical plays at the Wales Millennium Centre until 2nd November before continuing its tour

Wednesday 16 October 2019

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

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

Wednesday 20 October 2021

9 to 5 The Musical (UK Tour), New Wimbledon Theatre | Review

9 to 5 The Musical (UK Tour) 
New Wimbledon Theatre
Reviewed on Tuesday 19th October by Olivia Mitchell

If a night of carefree fun is what you're after, look no further than the girl-power, 80s musical that is 9 to 5. Telling the tale of a group of women who are fed up of their misogynistic boss, the show is filled with tongue-in-cheek moments, high energy choreography and of course, the Queen of Country herself: Dolly.

Having seen this show in its various iterations, what's quite amazing is how it retains it's intensity and lavishness wherever it's situated. Musically, Dolly Parton's score pared with arrangements by Stephen OremusAlex Lacamoire and Mark Crossland is catchy and toe-tapping, whilst,  Lisa Stevens' buoyant choreography keeps the momentum of the show going and provides there's always action across the stage. Tom Rogers' design which consists mostly of screens which light up various colours and desks which come in and out, is very effective and adds to the upbeat feel of the entire production.

Jeff Calhoun's production features a fantastic cast who perform with vigour and drive. Stephanie Chandos completely shines as Dolly's character, Doralee Rhodes. Funny, feisty and instantly likeable, Stephanie brings warmth to the role and provides a wonderful moment with Backwards Barbie. Vivian Panka is charming as the naive Judy Bernly who becomes an independent woman and finds herself throughout the show. Her rendition of Get Out and Stay Out is a real highlight and her overall performance is top notch. Louise Redhnapp is entertaining and capable as long term office employee, Violet Newstead. Together the trio are a real force as they take drastic measures to show their sexist boss, Franklin Hart Jnr. (played with faultless comic timing by Sean Needham) who's really in charge.

It's almost forty years since Violet, Judy, Doralee and their misogynistic boss made their way to screens in the film 9 to 5. But book writer, Patricia Resnick shows that whilst times have changed, unfortunately many of the issues are still prevalent and this remains a strong and necessary advocator of workplace (and life) equality. With a second act of just 45 minutes, this is a crowd-pleasing-production which flies by and serves up female-led-feel-good-fun on a shining platter. 

photo credit: Pamela Raith