Saturday, October 22, 2016

9 TO 5

9 TO 5
Brentwood Operatic Society
at Brentwood Theatre


Dolly Parton's “spankin' new musical” - based on the 1980 movie – was a sell-out success for BOS.
Ms Parton did the music and the lyrics; the book is by Patricia Resnick. It's a feel-good feminist-lite workplace story, in which the MCP CEO is ousted, first in fantasy, then for real, by a feisty trio from his office.
The music is big-hearted and brassy, excellently handled by the Ian Southgate's off-stage rock combo. The story is simplistic, the samey songs sometimes slow the action, and the first act seems far too long. But the BOS company give it their all, with outstanding performances by Rachel Lane as the widowed mother, Louise Byrne as the Backwoods Barbie - “too much make-up, too much hair” - and Juliet Thomas as the band-box neat newbie. An amazing character turn from Mandi Threadgold-Smith as dear old Roz with the hots for her boss; her Heart to Hart routine, backed by a chorus of look-alikes, is a highlight of the show.
Apart from Martin Harris's splendidly loathsome “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot”, the men are mostly ciphers, though we have a nice cameo from Bob Southgate as deus ex machina Tinsworthy.
Emma Sweeney's staging is inventive and stylish: the opening title number, the I Just Might trio, the power-dressing One Of The Boys. The scene shifting – everything is on castors – is impeccably choreographed, making the most of the stage area and bringing welcome variety to this uneven crowd-pleaser of a show.

company photograph: Brentwood Gazette

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