Transported back to the 70s where we had flared trousers, big moustaches and even bigger hair, we were taken on a hilarious story of friendship, revenge and the goings on during the hours of '9 to 5'.
With music and lyrics by Dolly Parton and book by Patricia Resnick we were treated to some wonderful songs and a great, funny and at times emotional story.
9 to 5 follows new girl Judy, under appreciated Violet and 'Double D' Doralee as they try to get their own back on their sexist, egotistical, hypocritical liar of a boss, Franklin J Hart.
The heart of the show for me was Violet played by Jennifer Deakin. The character is the glue that holds it all together. Strong, independent and willing to fight for what is right. Deakin is perfect for this part with strong vocals and a faultless accent, she was completely believable in the role and especially shone during 'I Just Might' where you get to see her vulnerable side too. Beautiful.
Laura Hobley played naive, timid new girl Judy Bernly. Hobley gave a great performance, portraying her innocence and vulnerabilities very well and blew us away with a stunning 'Get Out And Stay Out' where the character really grew in strength.
Fun loving Doralee Rhodes was brought to life by Rachel Roberts. This character is full of fun and this came across perfectly in Roberts' performance, really owning the stage, especially during 'Backwards Barbie' where you get to see Doralee’s soft side, a song so heartfelt and delivered wonderfully.
Egotistical Hart was played by Steven Turner and what a character he delivered. Sleazy, sexual and demanding, Turner gave his all to his performance especially during the songs where you could feel the power of both the character and Turners voice. Fantastic.
Making his directorial debut, Kriss Hubbard did a brilliant job in getting his vision across and making it come alive on stage. Choreography by Jessica Martin was right for the era and delivered well. Music was directed by Craig Price and it sounded fantastic. The band were out of sight in another room but made the show whole and really brought it to life. Off stage vocals really added depth and strength to the show and sounded fantastic.
The set was effective with parts flown in or sliding on and off. I did find that some office scenes seemed a little lenghty to set but due to many desks and separate chairs it is understandably a difficult task to do quickly and with it being opening night I'm sure it will become slicker as the week goes on.
Lighting was really effective at most, a couple of times cast weren't fully lit or lighting took a little while to come up but overall a great job by lighting designer Neil Hampson. Costumes and the majority of wigs were fantastic and really helped to take you back to the 70s. Well done to Rachael Prime and Lydia Draycott on wardrobe.
Finally, I would like to mention one character who really stood out for me, Roz Keith played by Valerie Ball. The character was played with such conviction and when Ball delivered 'Hart to Hart' the audience loved it. Well done.
9 to5 is running at the Brindley Theatre, Runcorn until Saturday 1st April so if you want a fun, toe tapping, joyful show, get yourself a ticket and get yourself there. You won't be disappointed. http://www.zaos.org.uk/
Reviewer: Damian Riverol
Reviewed: 28th March 2017