Theatre reviews

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9 to 5 The Musical

Lyceum Theatre

Male chauvinists of the world beware, you may think it’s a man’s world out there but girl power is getting ready to launch a takeover.

Worse still your ass (arse!) could be grass and one of the leading ladies is the lawnmower in Dolly Parton’s inspirational musical based on the 1980 film of the same name.

We’ve all come across sexist bigots and the musical’s message still resonates loud and clear in the present day.

The three leading ladies Jackie Clune’s ‘CEO in the making’ Violet, Amy Lennox’s ‘Backwoods Barbie’ Doralee and Natalie Casey’s ‘born again’ Judy are a tour de force as they unite in their contempt for Mark Moraghan’s lecherous Franklin Hart Jnr, president of Consolidated Industries and finally turn the tables on him.

Not surprisingly Dolly’s worldwide smash hit 9 to 5 is the show’s opener and closer but Roz’s (Anita Louise Combe) ‘striptease’ as she professes her love for Hart in her Heart to Hart rendition is a first Act scene stealer while Judy’s ‘Get out and stay out’ proves an emotionally filled heart-wrenching show stopper.

We even get to see and hear Dolly on film on a clock face. What more could you ask for?

Derek Fish

LEAVE IT TO PSMITH

ECCLESALL PARISH HALL

Written in 1923 and first performed in 1930, this play features one of P.G Wodehouse’s most popular creations, the enigmatic Psmith (the P is silent as in pshrimp - boom -boom). It’s also the basis for the recent, highly rated BBC TV series, Blandings.

That said, this isn’t top-notch Wodehouse. The characters, granted, are the usual appealing mix of bone-idle toffs, sweet young things, scary dowagers and the odd imposter - or two. What lets it down is the plotting, which is really, really clunky and often just plain confusing.

Still, the playing from Ecclesall Theatre Company is very good throughout, with the cast making the most of the witty one-liners. Graham Millar is an engaging Psmith; Gerald Brown bumbles about to great effect as the myopic Earl of Middlewick, and, after a hesitant start, Owain Millar does pull it off as the “brainless” Freddie.

It’s ably directed by Alison Millar, and the sets (David Smith & The Team) are simply stunning.

Marion Haywood