3D cycling, foam and frivolity as “amazing” 9to5 comes to Brum’s Alexandra Theater

Put on your cowboy hat and boots, leave your inhibitions at the door and immerse yourself in two hours of foam and frivolity – this delicious feast of female empowerment is back in town at the Alex.

The Queen of Land is also there to meet the audience – unfortunately not in person but through a screen that appears on the clock of the huge bright ‘9 to 5’ fly drop.

Mrs. Parton gives us a bubble story about office life in the 1970s and then it’s straight into the title track. Good vibes jump across the curtain line as we meet the company that dances, sings and walks – with apparently the whole house coming together in the chorus.

Lights locked in ancient computers Commodore 64 – hundreds of them! –Form inward-pointing tunnels as part of designer Tom Rogers’ huge kaleidoscopic set. Like the actor’s action, the set moves quickly and tells its own visual stories. A tribute here also to the video designer, Nina Dunn, for the most amazing 3D cycling cycle I’ve ever seen.

The story concerns three female co-workers and their fight with the slimy misogynistic boss Franklin Hart Jnr – perfectly captured by Sean Needham. Hart Junior’s company philosophy is – men play golf, make money and tell chauvinistic jokes, while women make coffee, grit their teeth and look beautiful.

The girls kidnap the big bad boss, tie him up in his own S and M gear and keep him a prisoner in his own house. While he is being installed, they are reorganizing the company along gender lines.

The three musketeers are secretary Violet Newstead played by confident and lovable Louise Redknapp, a new employee and newly divorced Judy Bernly played by Vivian Panka and perfectly completing the trio is Stephanie Chandos as general secretary, Dolores Rhodes – the Dolly Part looks alike.

Special mention for Julia J Nagle as Ros Keith – the Hart Jnr Groupie and company dobber-in.

Directed to give us a never dull moment by Jeff Calhoun with a wonderful choreography by Lisa Stevens and a book full of humor by Patricia Resnick – except of course music and lyrics by Dolly herself, this is indeed a feast for the faithful.

Not much to think about but much to enjoy and as a bonus Dolly leads the applause of her on-screen Clock on the walk – the full house, mostly female audience came out happily – ME TOO!

9to5 is at the Alex until Saturday, November 20th. Click here for times, tickets and additional information.


Review by Euan Rose.

Euan Rose Reviews.

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