9to5, Guildhall Theatre, KLODS
Here’s a blast from the past set to music, the 1980 Jane Fonda and Dolly Parton movie about office life turned into a rip-roaring musical farce.
As Dolly herself explains at the start of the evening (oh, yes!), we are going back to 1979 ... and the past really was a different country then in the office.
There were typewriters, carbon paper and Rolodexes and switchboards. No office assistants, just secretaries. Jobshares an unknown concept. People went home on the dot of five and it was a man’s world.
Violet (Emma Richmond-Smith) is a single-mother widow fed-up with being passed over for promotion by her “sexist, egotistical” boss Franklin Hart (Steve Bond). He spends his time ignoring his wife, lauding it over the office females and lusting after Doralee (Hayley Dennis). Into this maelstrom comes Judy (Sara-Jane Brennock), whose husband Dick has left her for a younger model, and who’s naivety is only matched by her lack of office skills.
The three women form an unlikely friendship (with the help of a drug-induced scheming of what they would like to do to Hart) until events take a turn for the worse with a mix-up over coffee and rat poison!
The strength of this show is definitely in the songs, all written by Dolly Parton. And they are given the delivery they deserve by the excellent cast.
Emma Richmond-Smith really shines in the duet with toy boy love interest Joe (Josh Chilvers) Let Love Grow, while Sara-Jane Brennock has a real showstopper in Get Out And Stay Out, sung to errant husband Dick (Robert Eves).
Hayley Dennis delivers a more than passable Dolly Parton impersonation throughout as shown in her song Backwood Barbie.
The horrible Mr Hart holds his own though, excelling with the lascivious Here For You, as he dreams about what he would like to do with Doralee as does the office sneak Roz, who would do anything for her boss as she explains in the equally lusty Heart to Hart.
This is another winner from KLODS, whose standards of shows deservedly keep getting recognised in national awards. A word too for the orchestra under Liz Pipe. Simply first rate.
The show continues at the Lynn Art Centre until Saturday. Make sure you clock in!