South Staffs Musical Theatre Company present their dazzling 2016 production of Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 at the Wolverhampton Grand this week. SSMTC narrate the tale of three young women as they strive to make their workplace fair from the bullish boss ‘Franklin Hart Jr.
Due to unexpected circumstances, Marina Shee was unable to perform in tonight's show, leaving Zoe Wiltshire to valiantly take up the role at very short notice. Wiltshire’s performance was not one of an understudy, but a leading lady and should be commended for performing so professionally at late notice. A strong performance to match her on stage leads Doralee Rhodes (Lexie Bennett) and Judy Bernly (Abbie Rai) who were also strong. In particular, Abbie's performance as the confused innocent Judy was impressive and brought some much needed comic relief to the scene. In particular, her rendition of Get Out and Stay Out was the show stealer tonight with some strong vocals enhanced by the band. Other strong performances came from the deluded secretary Roz (Natasha Bennett) and the love struck 'Joe' (Daniel Handdon) who had a nice strong vocal presence. Finally, Simon McGee played the womanising, misogynistic, biggot Franklin Hart Jr well, bringing a panto-esque comical performance to the role.
The orchestra was strong and tight giving a real energy to the soundtrack. However, some sound problems hindered the performance, with full songs happening with no microphones and moments of comedy were missed due to muted or crackly microphones.
The large ensemble supported well - with pleasant choreography from Maria Shee - lighting was basic and worked well (despite a lighting designer not being present in the creative team) and aside from some opening night glitches, congratulations to all involved, I know I’ll definitely be singing this soundtrack 9 to 5 each day.
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