9 to 5 The Musical - 2017 Review

Date: 16th November 2017
Director: Greg Sheppard - Pearson
Musical Director: Mark Aitchison
Choreographer: Greg Sheppard – Pearson and Bethaney Rimmer​
Venue: Evesham Arts Centre

Author: Andy Brown

Based on the film of the same title 9 to 5 has become a popular choice for amateur musical society’s over the last couple of years. With music and lyrics by Dolly Parton the show opens with employees preparing for another mundane day at the office - Consolidated Industries.

The show centres around several of the employees and their lying, hypocritical, bigoted and lecherous boss Franklin Hart played with conviction by Jonathan Roberts especially when singing ‘Here for You’ and his actions during this number.

Doralee (Hart’s secretary) played by Molly Jewitt was every bit the Dolly Parton character. Strong performances were played by Alison Roberts as Violet and Gemma Bailey as Judy.  There were some good comic moments involving the three of them. In addition, all three sang their songs with proficiency throughout the show but especially Gemma’s rendition of ‘Get Out and Stay Out.’ Each of the three played their murderous fantasy well when they showed how they would kill off the boss!

It is difficult to mention all the cast in a large show. However, Ellie Walker as Roz (Hart’s secret admirer at the office) does need to be acknowledged. She added further moments of humour into the performance and delivered her song well to the enjoyment of the audience.  The ensemble numbers worked well with some good movement. It was evident they were enjoying the show.

The music under the direction of Mark Aitchison was played at a comfortable level and only rarely played over the dialog too loudly.  Well done for achieving this balance not only with the band but also from the ensemble numbers.

The set was effective. Upstage throughout on a raised platform was Hart’s office. Other scenes were played down stage with the back-stage crew bringing on furniture and props. It was a shame the scene set in the toilets with Roz hiding in a cubical was played with her hidden behind a plant. Despite this however the set worked well, and changes were organized and effective carried out by the back-stage crew.

The light was good with some resourceful use of the facilities available at the venue. The slight problem on the night we attended during the curtain call (with some of the chorus taking a bow in complete darkness – well done for just carrying on) did not deflect from the overall quality maintained throughout the show. It was not always possible to hear some of the recorded dialogue, but the audience could work out what had been said anyway by observing the action on stage.    

Congratulations to Greg Sheppard Pearson. Not only did he take on the role of director and producer but also worked alongside Bethaney Rimmer as chorographer and played the role of Mr Tinsworthy who came across as a stereotypical American.    

Thank you for your kind invitation and look forward to your next show – Once Upon a Song in May 2018.