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9 to 5 The Musical - BMOS Review

Writer: Bethany Hill

When I first heard of 9 to 5 the musical, I imagined a cheesy 80s comedy that would provide some light relief. Whilst this is somewhat true in the best possible way, what I did not imagine was to also be met with a show filled with female empowerment, tear jerking moments and a toe tapping soundtrack that left me feeling so much lighter than when I went in.

Photo by With The Ring.

The show begins with the title track in which we are introduced to three very different women. Violet is a recently widowed single mother who is busting a gut trying to win a promotion at the office. Doralee, played by the icon that is Dolly Parton in the film adaptation, is a Texan beauty secretary being harassed by her boss and hated by her coworkers. Then we meet Judy, starting her first day at the office and indeed her first ever job after her husband ran off with a much younger woman. The three women at first appear very different from one another but all exist together in the office working their 9-5. From the off, the ensemble set the comical, energetic tone with skill and a smile which continued throughout the entire production. The audience were laughing aloud instantly and we felt at ease knowing we were in for a fun evening.

Through the story, the three women become fierce friends and together find a way to stand up to their egotistical, sexist boss with both comedy and empowering self-assurance whilst learning a lot about their own power too. My favourite amongst the songs included Joy to the Girls, Shine Like the Sun and Backwoods Barbie.

The cast was led by Michelle Worthington, Jo Smith and Rachel Richards who had an instant command of the stage and were pure professional standard. Michelle played Violet perfectly with a mix of a stoney-faced future female CEO and a loyal and brave friend. As Doralee, Jo showed the character’s warm side and proved that blondes can be intelligent and witty as well as having more fun. Rachel played Judy with an intricate fine blend of comedy, heart and power and her rendition of Get Out and Stay Out had me in tears. The talent of these three women was outstanding and all three were a triple threat of acting, dance and amazing vocals.

A special mention has to go to Beth Hunt who played Roz, the assistant to Franklin Hart. Not only did she provide comedy gold in Heart to Hart and throughout the show, but she had amazing vocals too.

Photo by With This Ring

Whilst the production focuses heavily on women and their rise to power, I couldn’t miss giving a mention to James Gordanifar who played the selfish, mean Mr Hart with wonderful comic timing; he was the perfect example of a villain you love to hate. Also, Adam Partridge brought the character of Joe, a sweet oxymoron to our main male lead, with talent and we were all rooting for him from the off.

As you can probably tell, I thoroughly enjoyed this production and would love to give a standing ovation to both cast and crew for their talent, enthusiasm and optimism at a time in the world when we always need a reason to smile. The orchestra directed by Phil Johnson brought both the songs we knew and new favourites to life and the set design aided the storyline brilliantly.

If you want to leave a theatre feeling totally empowered and with a toe-tapping spring in your step, I highly recommend catching 9-5 at the Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham while you can! The show runs until Saturday 17th June and tickets can be purchased by visiting

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Photo by With This Ring

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