REVIEW: 9 to 5 at Liverpool Empire


Dolly Parton’s
hit musical ‘9 to 5’ is playing at Liverpool’s Empire Theatre this month. Based on the hit movie, this feelgood musical is about three office workers who turn the tables on their sexist, egotistical, lying, bigot boss. They conspire to take control of the company and learn there’s nothing they can’t do – even in a man’s world. Nicola Denton went along to review.

Dolly Parton is an iconic woman in music so I was a little surprised to see that the Empire Theatre wasn’t full for this show. This didn’t hinder my (or their) enjoyment of the show though. When the first few bars of Dolly’s classic hit ‘9 to 5’ filled the theatre it received a big cheer. Then Dolly herself appeared in a clock face to introduce the characters.

Jackie Clune gives a stellar performance as dry witted Violet, as does Amy Lennox as the not-so-blonde-bimbo Doralee. But my favourite was Natalie Casey as Judy, she starts off down trodden and naive but becomes strong and independent. She is an excellent comedy actress with great timing. Another cast member who should be mentioned is Bonnie Langford as Roz, she got laughs every time she was on stage after the hysterical ‘Heart to Hart’ number (I’m not giving anything away about that!).

The show itself is a real rollercoaster as the girls go from being constantly undermined by Franklyn (Ben Richards) to taking his power and running the company. At times the explicit sexism against women is slightly uncomfortable to watch, but as Dolly states “this was the 70s after all”. The comedy dilutes this and the girls get their own back. The songs also played a strong part and sung very well by the cast, the stand out numbers for me were ‘Backwoods Barbie’ and ‘Sexist, Egotistical, Lying, Hypocritical Bigot’.

The show ended on a high with a reprise of ‘9 to 5’ sung by the cast and Dolly in the clock, the whole audience were on their feet clapping and singing along.

What a way to make a livin’.

 

Words by: Nicola Denton

 

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