9 to 5 The Musical: Upstairs at the Gatehouse, Highgate
Reviewed 2nd September 2017.
With music by Dolly Parton and a funny plot following three women working ‘9 to 5’ in an office run by an arrogant, sexist boss this is a sure hit with many audiences, most notably women, office workers and fans of Dolly Parton.
Whilst this production has many fundamental flaws, from sound issue, some hideously awful wigs and over-ambitious choreography, what it does have is a funny plot and 3 very talented lead vocalists in Amanda Coutts, Pippa Winslow and Louise Olley. The songs are up tempo and enjoyable. I thought Coutts singing ‘Get Out and Stay Out‘ was the highlight of the show. Not only has she got a superb voice, which she gets to show through this song, but it shows what the show is all about: women and women’s rights.
I must also say that Matthew Chase really stood out for me, not only was his dancing one of the best in the entire show but he seemed to commit to the character and his facial expressions were natural and realistic. I’d definitely be interested to see where his career takes him.
It is a shame that even now, in 2017, we still have similar issues with regards to workplace bullying, sexism, promotion inconsistencies between gender and still pay between men and women differs. Whilst this show is not going to change that, it is an enjoyable evening out and has a very funny plot line. If only changing the workplace was as easy as kidnapping your boss though.
The overall production felt quite like an amateur show which is a shame as the cast and musicians are all trained well and have starred in lots of other productions. Perhaps if the set design, choreography and staging had been a little less frenetic and busy it would have worked better on such a small stage?
If you are an avid theatre goer then you might want to sit this one out and wait for another national tour like the 2013 UK tour. However, if you are after a couple of hours of up-tempo, catchy music, a funny plot and simply want to enjoy a night out then this is the show for you!
9 to 5 The Musical is playing at Upstairs at the Gatehouse, Highgate until 1st October 2017. Tickets available from: http://www.upstairsatthegatehouse.com