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9 to 5: The Musical - Alexandra Theatre - Review

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by Andy Coleman (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Birmingham. I like Classic Rock, 70s pop music, football and interviewing celebrities. Follow me on Twitter: @andycoleman9
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Louise Redknapp stars in stage version of iconic movie
It's back to the early 1980s at The Alexandra in Birmingham, thanks to the return of the smash-hit musical, 9 to 5.

9 to 5 The Musical, Dolly Parton, The Alexandra Birmingham, Louise Redknapp, Vivian Panka, Stephanie Chandos, Richard Taylor Woods, Julia J Nagle, Musical Theatre
Dolly Parton oversees hit musical 9 to 5 (pic: Pamela Raith Photography)


Set in a male-dominated office, the show, based on the 1980 film starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton, and Dabney Coleman, chronicles the tale of three women who are determined to bring some female influence to the workplace.

9 to 5 The Musical, Dolly Parton, The Alexandra Birmingham, Louise Redknapp, Vivian Panka, Stephanie Chandos, Richard Taylor Woods, Julia J Nagle, Musical Theatre
Louise Redknapp stars as Violet in 9 to 5 (pic: Pamela Raith Photography)


Singer and presenter Louise Redknapp is excellent as office supervisor Violet Newstead, who is continually passed over for promotion. She is ably supported by UK stage debutant Vivian Panka, taking the role of office new girl Judy Bernly. Vivian received one of the biggest ovations of the evening for her stunning solo, Get Out and Stay Out, with her voice soaring to the rafters at its conclusion. The trio is completed by Stephanie Chandos as secretary, Doralee Rhodes, the character portrayed by Dolly Parton in the film. She plays the seemingly ditzy blonde perfectly, and reveals her true feelings beautifully with her rendition of Backwoods Barbie.

9 to 5 The Musical, Dolly Parton, The Alexandra Birmingham, Louise Redknapp, Vivian Panka, Stephanie Chandos, Richard Taylor Woods, Julia J Nagle, Musical Theatre
Stephanie Chandos is ditzy blonde Doralee (pic: Pamela Raith Photography)


There is loads of comedy on display some of it raunchy and most of it centred around sleazy boss, Franklin Hart Jnr, played on press night by understudy Richard Taylor Woods. Like all the company, Richard has a great voice, as demonstrated on Here for You. There were cheers all round when he gets his comeuppance I won't spoil it for you by revealing the ending!

Julia J Nagle is a little over-the-top as office administrator Roz Keith, sometimes giving the show a 'Carry On Office' feel to the production. But she's a great performer her song and dance routine, Heart to Hart, was hilarious.

9 to 5 The Musical, Dolly Parton, The Alexandra Birmingham, Louise Redknapp, Vivian Panka, Stephanie Chandos, Richard Taylor Woods, Julia J Nagle, Musical Theatre
Julie J Nagle is Roz Keith (pic: Pamela Raith Photography)


One of the show's strengths is its depth of talent. The ensemble pieces, such as the opening 9 to 5 and Around Here, are vibrant and energetic. Well done, the whole cast! And, of course, we have Dolly Parton presenting the whole shebang, appearing on film as narrator and, occasionally, vocalist. Another triumph for the Queen of Country.

9 to 5 The Musical, Dolly Parton, The Alexandra Birmingham, Louise Redknapp, Vivian Panka, Stephanie Chandos, Richard Taylor Woods, Julia J Nagle, Musical Theatre
Venue: The Alexandra, Birmingham


[B]9 to 5 2021 tour dates:

Until Nov 20: The Alexandra, Birmingham;
Nov 23 27: Eden Court, Inverness;
Nov 30 Dec 4: Theatre Royal, Plymouth.[/B]
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Why? The hit musical's biggest UK tour to date
When: Until November 20, 2021
Phone: 0844 871 3011
Where: The Alexandra, Birmingham, then touring
Cost: From 13 plus fees
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