9 to 5 The Musical - BMOS

“The ultimate girl-power musical with a very talented cast”

From the pen of Dolly Parton, 9 to 5 The Musical is the ultimate girl-power musical shining light on equality in the workplace and how to deal with a sexist, chauvinistic boss to hilarious effect.

I was once again delighted to be heading to the Alexandra Theatre to see the company of the Birmingham Midland Operatic Society in their latest production.  After seeing their standout show, Guys and Dolls last year, I knew I was in for a good night, and I was not disappointed.

Firstly, I must make mention of the 3 leading ladies all of whom were outstanding.  Michelle Worthington as Violet Newstead commanded the stage with an air of confidence and gave a truly fantastic performance.  Jo Smith as Doralee Rhodes, the role famously played by Dolly Parton herself, was every inch the bubbly, kind-hearted country girl and delivered on every level.  Lastly, Rachel Richards as Judy Bernly was quite frankly astonishing.  She was able to bring an extremely polished performance with great comedic qualities and with a vocal that could quite easily be transported onto a professional stage.  Her rendition of ‘Get Out and Stay Out’ was simply beautiful, performed with all the emotion needed.

Our protagonists have to deal with probably one of the worst bosses known to man in the shape of Franklin Hart Jr.  Played by James Gordanifar, this role is a treat for any performer with plenty of humour and thankfully Gordanifar was certainly the man for the job. An extremely strong performance on all levels, with a fantastic vocal and acting ability.  Bringing more comedic relief came in the shape of Franklin Hart Jr’s ever faithful assistant Roz Keith played by Beth Hunt.  Another polished performance with a strong vocal and fantastic stage presence.

The show centres around the ladies’ mission to put an end to the inequality at work, so they end up kidnapping the boss and making many changes within the workplace which increases productivity and ultimately changes the way the whole company is run.  It’s an empowering show with plenty of stand out musical moments, including, of course the title song ‘9 to 5’ which has everyone singing along during the curtain call.

The ensemble cast work hard throughout providing some great choreography by Aaron Gibson.  This could have been slightly tighter and more uniformed at times, however the enthusiasm shone off the stage and it was clear that the company were enjoying the moment. Mark Heath O’Toole as Judy’s cheating husband Dick, Adam Partridge as Doralee’s caring husband Joe and Ellison Hart as Violet’s teenage son all did a sterling job during their time on stage, aswell as Annabel Pilcher as office drunk Margaret who certainly nailed the inebriated look!

With a talented band under the musical direction of David Easto, the soundtrack to 9 to 5 The Musical includes some real earworms such as ‘Backwoods Barbie’, One of the Boys’ and of course ‘9 to 5’ so it was wonderful to hear these songs performed so well. 

Overall, another fabulous show by the whole company of BMOS and that cup of ambition was overflowing with talent!

9 to 5 The Musical is playing at the Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham until the 17th June 2023.  Tickets available here: 9 to 5 The Musical (BMOS) Tickets | The Alexandra, Birmingham in Birmingham | ATG Tickets

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