Effortlessly beautiful, fabulously inspiring and lively from beginning to the end. 9 to 5: The Musical, written by Patricia Resnick and put on stage by Dolly Parton, is a musical which deserves all the recognition and nobody other than the cast of Edinburgh Footlights could have performed it as entertainingly as they did.
The cult classic 9 to 5 tells the story of Violet, a senior office supervisor; Doralee, an underrated Texan woman; and Judy, a broken-hearted divorcee. Three co-workers are pushed to boiling point by their “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot” boss and the tables are turned when they decide to kidnap him. It is a simple story about how women fix an undesirable and unjust situation and accessorise it until it starts to look pretty.
The décor of the play is mediocre but planned well enough to add depth to the stage and meaning to the play. The technical sound issues can be overlooked, as they don’t ruin the flow of the play.
From the opening song onwards, the play is energetic and humorous. The initial choreography is astounding, and it is disappointing to see some actors are not as committed to it as others. However, as the play goes on, it becomes clear that the opening act is just a warm-up for all the other wonders to come and it is impossible not to fall in love with every character, one by one. Gemma Lowcock’s voice is inaudible for the first few seconds of the show, but she rises to the challenge – her performance of ‘I Just Might’ brings a tear to the eye. Anna Steen’s dance sequence in ‘One of The Boys’ is staged so successfully that it almost makes Allison Janney’s original performance seem dull for a moment. Alice Hoult is daring, charming and fierce throughout the play and even Dolly Parton herself would be proud of her. In addition to this talented leading cast, Mhairi Goodwin, Yann Davies, and Lauren Robinson as Roz, Joe and Margaret simply amaze the audience with their passion and commitment, and hypnotise the audience every single time they are on stage.
With the “we cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails” attitude, “the struggle of trying to pave a better road for yourself” concept and its feminist storyline, 9 to 5: The Musical is an ensemble of all the life lessons that Dolly Parton has to teach and The Edinburgh Footlights couldn’t have chosen a play which complements their skills and talents more.
9 to 5: The Musical
Image: Andrew Perry