‘I’m not a girl, I’m a woman’
This evening Dolly Parton took us back to the eighties of power suits, big shoulder pads, Red braces, corporate ladders and old boy networks, and sexist bosses who call all women ‘girls’
9 to 5 The Musical is narrated by Dolly Parton herself and she wrote the music and lyrics, the script is by Patricia Resnick and is directed by Jeff Calhoun.
Dolly has weaved her country magic with the songs for this show and the script is full of chuckles, cheekiness and moments where you laugh out loud.
This show is based on the 1980 film of the same name which starred Dolly Parton, Lily Tonkin and Jane Fonda in the leading roles as three women who dispense their own kind of payback to the egotistical, sexist, lazy boss.
As the lyrics of the title song say, ‘they just use your mind and never give you credit, it’s enough to drive you crazy if you let it’ these women decide they are going to get their own back on the boss even though it starts as a misunderstanding over some rat poison.
The three main characters are Violet played by Claire Sweeney, Doralee played by Stephanie Chandos and Judy Bernly played by Vivian Panka.
Franklin Hart Jr, the boss is played with comedic excellence by Sean Needham, which was further enhanced by a slight technical hitch at the end of Act 1. There is a brilliant scene with him and Rox Keith played by Julia J Nagle with a Tango, the like of which I haven’t seen on Strictly Come Dancing. It is a great scene where Rox declares her love and lust for her boss.
The whole cast of actors and dancers don’t stop throughout the show with fabulous choreography and seamless scene changes.
The three leading ladies are all very talented and I must praise the America accents of the whole cast. All three ladies can act, sing and dance.
As someone who worked in offices in the eighties I can definitely recognise some of the themes within the show however exaggerated they may be for dramatic and comedic effect.
One highlight for me was when Vivian Panka as Judy sang Get Out and Stay Out to her ex- husband, it’s a powerful performance and it gave me goosebumps worthy of a west end solo. This show may be her UK debut but I don’t think it will be her last.
This show is cheeky in places, tongue in cheek in others but such fun and I laughed all the way through it.
It is a great show to relax and enjoy with a great cast.
It is on at the Regent Theatre, Stoke on Trent until Saturday 26th February and tickets are available at the link below: