Reviewed by Kathryn Harrison
This week, 9 to 5 The Musical is at Liverpool’s Empire Theatre, I visited with a friend last night to watch the show. Based upon the 1980 film of the same name 9 to 5 tells the story of three female office workers who have had enough of their male chauvinist pig boss and set out to make a change.
The show opened with Dolly Parton’s classic song 9 to 5, before Dolly Parton herself introduced us to the main characters. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see Dolly in the flesh as she appeared in the show through a video recording. We first met Violet Newstead played by Louise Redknapp, Violet is a veteran office worker, having been with the company for 15 years. She is a widow with a teenage son and has a desire to advance her career, unfortunately as she is not a member of the old boys’ club it is not easy for her to get ahead. As an experienced performer Louise Redknapp played this character really well, she had just enough attitude and edge to be believable as a woman trying to get ahead in a man’s world, but she also brought humour and warmth to the character that made her very likeable.
Next we met Judy Bernly played by Amber Davies. Judy is a naive young woman starting at her first ever job after being left by her husband, Amber Davies played the part brilliantly, the character of Judy Bernly, as with the other main characters was completely authentic.
The final of the three main characters that we met was Doralee Rhodes played by Georgina Castle. Doralee is Mr Hart’s secretary, due to Doralee’s appearance the rest of the office believe she is having an affair with Mr Hart. Over time, Doralee teaches the others not to judge a book by its cover and shows how much she wants to change the world they live in. Georgina Castle was amazing as Doralee, her singing was outstanding and her acting impeccable, I was surprised when I looked in the program to see that Georgina doesn’t seem to have as much theatre experience as some of the other actors as she seemed very experienced and comfortable on stage.
We soon meet Franklin Hart Jr played by Sean Needham. Franklin Hart is the CEO of the company he is sexist, chauvinistic, misogynistic and has no respect for the woman in the office at all. The first time we meet Franklin Hart Jr he sings the song Here for You which demonstrates his lack of respect for the woman in his office. Sean Needham plays this character very well, he manages to make you really dislike the man whilst at the same time being extremely funny.
Another super funny character is Roz Keith played by Lucinda Lawrence. Roz is a senior member of staff within the office who has a secret love for Mr Hart. Lucinda Lawrence was superb as this character, the physical comedy she performed was hilarious and her comedic timing was flawless, she had the audience in stitches constantly. Roz was by far my favourite character in the show.
This is a very funny show with a strong message and a toe tapping musical score. Both me and my friend really enjoyed the whole performance and left the theatre with a smile on our faces.
Tickets cost from £13 (plus £3.65 transaction fee).
9 to 5 The Musical is at the Liverpool Empire from 1-5 October 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit www.atgtickets.com/liverpool or call the box office on 0844 8713017.
Liverpool Empire, Lime Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, L1 1JE | 0844 8713017