Review: 9to5 The Musical - the perfect feel-good return to live theatre

You couldn’t have picked a better show to re-open a theatre after 545 days dark.

Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 8:02 pm

It had to be something upbeat, colourful and feel-good, and Dolly Parton’s 9to5 The Musical ticked all the boxes.

True, a work-place based theme at a time when we’re all still working from home raised a wry smile or two, but you can’t dislike a show with such a huge heart.

With a set set nodding back to its 80s roots - the old computer monitors took me back - and colours straight out of the Benetton catalogue of that decade too, it brought the story of office sexism and male chauvinism bang up to date with some sharp gags and more than a knowing nod to the current times. Some issues really haven’t changed that much ...

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9to5 The Musical (Pic: Pamela Raith)

And it was all delivered with style and pizzazz.

Former Eternal band member, Louise Redknapp, may have top billing, but she had two fabulous female co-stars - Stephanie Chandos almost out-Dollied in the Parton-esque role of Doralee, while newcomer Vivian Panka shone as the new divorcee taking her steps into the corporate world.

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They all delivered huge showstoppers, and enjoyed equal share of the spotlight, with Sean Needham turning in a great role as their pitiful boss Franklin Hart Jnr whose dinosaur views were quickly turned inside out as he was, literally, left dangling.

9to5 The Mudsical (Pic: Pamela Raith)

Parton’s personality is writ large through this show, and her cameo appearance via video simply underlines its roots and its sheer style.

She always knew how to put on a great show.

A standing ovation was no more than the cast deserved - and what a joy to once again see an audience rise in applause at the end of a night in a theatre.

May there be many, many more.

9to5 The Musical is at Edinburgh Playhouse until Saturday.

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