REVIEW: 9 to 5 The Musical at Theatre Royal Brighton

9 to 5 The Musical at the Theatre Royal Brighton. Jackie Clune as Violet Newstead, Amy Lennox as Doralee Rhodes and Natalie Casey as Judy Bernly. Photo Credit Simon Annand.
9 to 5 The Musical at the Theatre Royal Brighton. Jackie Clune as Violet Newstead, Amy Lennox as Doralee Rhodes and Natalie Casey as Judy Bernly. Photo Credit Simon Annand.
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I WAS walking around Brighton yesterday night saying a big “yeehaw” for womankind.

No, I hadn’t been at a convention for feminism in America’s deep south, but I had been to the supremely uplifting opening night of 9 to 5 The Musical.

Running at the Theatre Royal Brighton all this week, the show is a fun, frothy and light-hearted take on male chauvinism in the workplace, courtesy of everyone’s favourite country singer Dolly Parton.

Based on the plot of the 1980 film starring the fabulous Miss Parton, the stage incarnation features a musical score written by the blonde bombshell.

Set in an office in an anonymous American city, the plot centres around three downtrodden female employees, who eventually decide enough is enough of their egotistical boss.

Overlooked for promotion Violet Newstead (Jackie Clune), recently divorced Judy Bernley (Natalie Casey) and busty Doralee Rhodes (Amy Lennox), who fears people never see past her appearance, join forces to take over the company they work for.

A riotous, if not a bit unbelievable plot ensues, which results in them kidnapping their boss Franklyn J Hart (Ben Richards).

Clune’s American accent is excellent, and she commanded the stage with a confident performance. Amy Lennox also stood out with her feisty turn as Doralee.

Natalie Casey portrayed a loveable Judy, but I felt her accent slipped just a little a times.

There was also admirable support from Franklyn J Hart’s lovestruck secretary Roz Keith (Anita Louise Combe), along with a strong ensemble cast.

With a fantastic score and snippets of Dolly herself appearing via a screen to shape some of the action and even sing a chorus of the title song 9 to 5, you can’t help but leave the show with a smile on your face.

n 9 to 5 The Musical is at the Theatre Royal Brighton until Saturday, August 10. Performances are at 7.45pm nightly, with matinées at 2.30pm on Wednesday and Saturday.

Tickets cost between £17.90 and £48.90.

To book, visit www.atgtickets.com