Book: Patricia Resnick
Music and Lyrics: Dolly Parton
Director: Ken Alexander
Reviewer: Mark O’Neill
Equality for women is sadly still an issue in today’s society but thankfully times have changed considerably since 1980 when Patricia Resnick wrote the film9 to 5.
Having now become regulars at the Fringe, entertaining audiences for over a decade, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland are back with three new shows this year with 9 to 5 The Musical being their largest production to date.
Featuring music and lyrics by the great Dolly Parton and dealing with themes of sexism, inequality and social injustice, the story tells of Judy Bernly (Jamie Shriner) who starts a new job shortly after a divorce. Bernly quickly becomes the subject of her boss’ – Franklin Hart Jnr (Ciaran Walshe) – raging temper but soon finds comfort in her companions Violet (Genevieve Clarke) and Doralee (Isabella Ward). Together, the three girls embark on a mission to gain control of the workplace and wipe out the inequality imposed by Hart.
The entire production is underpinned by a strong, catchy score that will put a smile on your face from the opening number. Each and every member of this cast is talented however Isabella Ward as Doralee, especially in her rendition of Backwoods Barbie, excels. The cleverly crafted choreography is well executed and provides and the live band, although not visible, play an important part in keeping the flow of this well-paced production. Hidden beneath the toe-tapping music and the exuberant flowery fashion, however, is a strong message of social and political injustice.
Technically, this production is superior to any other performance you will see at the Fringe. The checkerboard set is incredible and the use of the Assembly Hall venue is magnificent, although some of the props are tired and wilting. Nevertheless, the show is slick and Paul Smethurst’s choreography is fantastic.
Overall this production is exciting, exhilarating and energetic. A great way to kick off your day at the Fringe – feel good fun.
Runs until 28 August 2016| Image:K KDundas