Review: 9to5 (Wales Millennium Centre)

Reviewed by Emily March
29th October 2019
Reviewer Rating: ★★★★

9to5 the Musical, based on the 80’s movie starring Dolly Parton burst into the Wales Millennium Centre last night. With it’s colourful set, shocking storyline and larger than life characters, I was intrigued to see how the show was transfer to the stage.

The cast was lead by three talented women; Caroline Sheen, Amber Davies and Georgina Castle, who played Violet, Judy and Doralee respectively. Each actress brought so much heart and humour to their character and it was great to see three female leads. Their onstage chemistry was genuine and believable which made their performance a joy to watch. Their voices, all strong, blended together beautifully to make for a perfect trio of leading ladies.

Amber Davies particularly stood out to me. Her acting was superb and she really portrayed that naive character with a flare of Glee’s Rachel Berry very well. She eventually found her feet in the eleven o’clock number, Get Out and Stay Out with impressive vocals and totally moving performance. She was truly  fantastic throughout.

The bright set was impressive with a giant 9to5 logo taking centre stage and being reintroduced at various moments of the show. The clock faced doubled as a video screen which featured narration from Dolly Parton herself.

This was a nice touch to the show and helped explain certain moments in more detail. I also loved the use of rolling desks in the show and the computer screens that made up the proscenium arch.

The music in this show is brilliant, reflecting Dolly’s bold brightness in its catchy tunes. However, the newer addition of Hey Boss, which replaced a whole series of fantastic songs from the original Broadway production, felt pointless and slightly weak. I struggled to understand the lyrics of the song, which wasn’t helped by the poor sound levels. I’d be interested to know why this decision was made for the West End/Tour version.

Similarly, Franklin Hart’s second song, Always A Woman, was boring and time consuming, and was unnecessary to the plot. This was no reflection on the actors who were great but more so on the show’s writers. The choreography was innovative but I didn’t feel the ensemble utilised it enough as it sometimes felt a little weak, but their acting really shone.

This review is not complete without a shoutout to the outstanding portrayal of Roz Keith by the hilarious Lucinda Lawrence. BRAVO.

Overall, this is a fantastic production that had me laughing out loud with its tongue-in-cheek humour and relevant storyline. A fantastic night out at the theatre, but definitely for adults only!

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