9 to 5

Music and lyrics by Dolly Parton and book by Patricia Resnic
The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
Assembly Hall

The cups of ambition must have been flowing in the rehearsal room during preparations for The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s newest addition to its legacy at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Since it’s less than humble beginnings as an '80s comedy film, 9 to 5 has become a cult classic. Having been turned into a stage production with music and lyrics by Dolly Parton, the show has been nominated for awards aplenty and been seen by audiences in theatres all over the world.

This newest adaptation, although slightly more minimal in its staging than bigger budgeted productions of the same show, is certainly colourful and creative enough to carry off such a rowdy and ridiculous storyline.

As the offices of Consolidated Industries open their doors, we meet cowgirl Doralee (Seanna Knudsen), new girl Judy (Meredith Busteed) and feisty female supervisor Violet (Taryn Taylor) as they embark on a mission to take down their sexist boss Franklin Hart Jr. (Ciaran Walshe).

The workplace becomes a happy haven as the drudgery and dullness of office life is transformed. However, the three ladies have more than just a skeleton in their closest… they have their boss kidnapped and hanging from the roof of his bedroom.

The show itself is well directed by Ken Alexander and a superb Tetris-like set design by Richard Evans acts as the linchpin to slick and quirky scene transitions. The cast is certainly more of a musical bunch than a dance troupe with some questionable choreography taking place throughout the show. The first song as an example, although well sung, is more of a messy Monday morning than an overwhelming opening number.

The stand-out performances certainly come from the three leading ladies, Knudsen, Taylor and Busteed. The dynamism between the three as they scheme, sing and strive together is palpable throughout the production and without their energy this two-hour-long musical marathon could quite easily have hit a wall before the ten-minute intermission.

9 to 5 will leave you with a smile on your face and the words to its signature song running round in your head. With such an upbeat score, a funny script and a ridiculous storyline, you should be tumbling out of bed to bag a ticket.

Reviewer: Liam Blain

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