9 to 5: The Musical

Get your friends together and get along to The Playhouse for a light-hearted, laugh out loud evening! We were treated on arrival in the foyer to a performance by the Loud and Proud choir who got the evening off to a great start with a range of show tunes including a cappella arrangements of ‘9 to 5’ and ‘Shine Like the Sun’. If you get the chance to hear this choir at the Fringe, don’t miss it. 9 to 5 is set in 1979 in the offices of Consolidated Industries, a world of big hair, big collars and men with big egos. Women were referred to as girls and were expected to do the typing, keep the office running smoothly and buy a present for the boss’s wife. The boss is Franklyn J Hart (played by Ben Richards) and his over inflated ego and high handed treatment of his female staff wins him few friends. The exception to this is Roz Keith (Anita Louise Combe) who worships the ground Hart walks on. Her fantasy scene where she sheds her buttoned up personality and business suit and dances a tango with Hart, in her stockings and suspenders is hilarious.

Violet Newstead (Jackie Clune) is a single parent, effectively running the firm and when she’s passed over for promotion in favour of a man she trained (who has a family to support!) a chain of events unfolds. Violet joins forces with Doralee Rhodes (Amy Lennox) and Judy Bernley (the very funny Natalie Casey) to kidnap Hart, and find evidence of his shady dealings. They tie Hart up in his home, restrained by a trapeze operated by the garage remote control (stretch of imagination required here!) They eventually uncover fraudulent dealings which lead to Hart’s banishment to Bolivia and Violet’s promotion to CEO of the company. The plot is a bit thin, and apart from a couple of numbers the music isn’t memorable but the cast is superb. The comic timing, particularly of Natalie Casey is spot on and the sheer enthusiasm of the cast shines through. The show is all froth and little substance but it is a really enjoyable, undemanding night out. Go and have a laugh!

Val Clark