Review: 9 to 5 the Musical by the Saffron Walden Musical Theatre Company
PUBLISHED: 11:05 07 March 2019 | UPDATED: 08:33 08 March 2019
I left Saffron Walden Town Hall on Tuesday evening feeling slightly giddy and practically bouncing to my car.
No, I hadn’t attended a particularly enthralling town council meeting. Rather I had just finished applauding the Saffron Walden Musical Theatre Company for their production of 9 to 5 the Musical.
The story, which includes songs written by country western legend Dolly Parton, follows three woman who work in the same beige paper-shuffling office. Their boss is a sexist sleezeball with octopus-hands who sings charming lines like “Will I get those legs uncrossed? Course I will because I’m the boss.”
Office manager and work-weary Violet (Laura Thomas) is sick of fetching coffee for her boss, Mr Hart, and is overlooked for a promotion in favour of a man she trained. Meanwhile bubbly Doralee (Gemma Alexander) is shunned by her colleagues who believe she is sleeping with Hart, who has actually spread the rumour himself. Into this mix comes naieve Judy (Alison Hare) who has has never touched a typewriter before.
Thanks to a mix-up between rat poison and coffee, the three ladies join forces to take down their boss and introduce much needed change into the office.
I cannot go any longer without mentioning Jane Chat who plays Roz Keith, Mr Hart’s lovesick assistant. Her raunchy, explosive performance of Heart to Hart was the highlight amongst many wonderful moments in the production.
In fact all the cast were superb, with Laura Thomas playing Violet as the anchor and human heart of the story. By the end of the play I wanted her to be my mentor and best friend.
Alison Hare as Judy grew into her role and by the end she was delivering the best one-liners. Even when she wasn’t speaking she was in character, nervously fiddling with her dressing gown or staring agog at the mayhem unfolding.
The show was on the right side of absurdity, with a Disney princess sequence starring cute animal critter puppets.
From tap to country music to seductive dance scenes which channeled Broadway staple Chicago, the music and dancing was ambitious and sleek.
9 to 5 was a piece of madcap, delightful escapism full of hilarity and heart. I would urge anyone to see it.
9 to 5 the M usical is running until Saturday March 9 at Saffron Walden Town Hall.
Tickets, £12, £14, £15 from Saffron Walden Tourist Information 01799 524002 or www.stagestubs.com.