"Energetic adaptation of 1981 film"
by Matthew Partridge for remotegoat on 03/09/17

A chauvinistic, sex pest boss treats his female employees like dirt, while spending his time chasing skirt and playing golf. While “9 to 5: the Musical” is set in the mid-seventies, it’s not hard to see parallels with a certain tycoon-turned-President. A production of the 2009 show, that was in turn based on the hit 1981 film of the same name, this version, which runs at Upstairs at the Gatehouse, looks at three women’s attempt to turn the tables on Franklin Hart (Leo Sene), the CEO of Consolidated Industries.

Judy (Amanda Coutts) is forced back to work by the departure of her husband Dick (Mark Houston), Doralee (Louise Olley) is sexually harassed and then becomes the victim of some false rumours, while Violet (Pippa Winslow) is repeatedly passed over for promotion. When they accidentally end up poisoning Hart, they are left with little alternative to take action into their own hands. However, the turn of events leaves themselves temporarily in control of the company, giving them the opportunity to make some changes.

Initially the choreography and the singing seems a little too slick, and so it takes some time to get going. However, as the evening progresses it’s impossible not to be blown away by the energy and conviction of the entire cast. While Olley brassily fills Dolly Parton’s cowboy boots, Winslow is the undoubted star of the show as a professional who has to be twice as good as the men around her to get even half the recognition. Coutts also delivers the bittersweet ballad “Get Out and Stay Out” with overwhelming force.

Making its point without being preachy, and saving the topical jokes for the very end, this is one foot-tapping evening you won’t want to miss.

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