9 to 5 The Musical (GDS) – Review

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9 to 5 The Musical: Central Theatre, Chatham

Reviewed 11th October 2017.

9 to 5 The Musical is the hit musical written by Dolly Parton that centres on three office workers who turn the tables on their sexist boss. This hilarious comedy features original numbers from Dolly Parton and is sure to get everyone laughing in their seats.

The Gillingham Dramatic Society (GDS) are one of Kent’s premier amateur theatre companies, specialising in musical theatre and pantomime, performing in Medway and Maidstone. They have been performing shows in the Medway area for over forty years and this is their latest production to hit audiences.

The musical centres around three women; Violet, Doralee and Judy. Jeni Boyle played a likeable and relatable Violet Newstead. Not only did she have the acting ability to pull off this character but her vocals were great too as was her comic timing. Laura Dee impressed as Doralee Rhodes with superb vocal talent and her characterisation was terrific. She remained in character throughout and certainly gave Franklin Hart what for! Last but not least, Claire Scholes (Judy Bernly) certainly has the voice and acting ability to take on this role and had fantastic stage presence throughout. Whilst her relationship with Dick may not have been entirely believable due to the obvious age difference her rendition of ‘Stay Out‘ will certainly get the audience’s attention for all the right reasons.

The other cast members including Lewis Matthews (Joe) and Glenn Atkinson (Franklin Hart Jr) all came together to create a fun, lively musical. Liz McSherry played a hilarious Roz Keith. She was always committed to the character and her portrayal of Roz in ‘Heart to Hart‘ was tremendous. Again, she had fantastic vocals and projection and her comic timing was superb.

The set and lighting, for an amateur dramatic production, was very good. Set and props were used well to add to the staging of the show and not detract from it. The choice of limited choreography to fit the cast members was a good one. The few dance numbers that were included were performed well.

The 11 piece band led by musical director Owen McColgan performed brilliantly throughout the show. It was fantastic to see a talented group supporting local theatre rather than using pre-recorded tapes. Whilst there were technical issues with sound (as with most productions including professional ones) all of the musicians and cast performed professionally and any missed cues or technical glitches were dealt with quickly and efficiently.

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.

If you want an amusing, entertaining night out then grab a ticket and support local talent at the Central Theatre, Chatham. One word of warning though: you will be singing 9-5 for days afterwards!



9 to 5 The Musical is showing at the Central Theatre, Chatham from the 12th – 14th October 2017. Tickets and more information is available here: https://gdsproductions.wordpress.com/ http://tickets.medway.gov.uk/thecentraltheatre.aspx

Photo Credit: Richard Lehmann

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