The West End is in pretty shape great right now.
There’s such an exciting mix of new musicals (Come From Away), British musicals (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Six) and huge Broadway imports (Hamilton, Waitress) that there’s pretty much something for everyone’s taste on a London stage at the moment.
But by that merit it can be hard to stand out from the crowd.
When it was announced that 9 to 5 was replacing Dreamgirls at the Savoy, admittedly I wasn’t hugely excited. I love Dolly Parton (who doesn’t) but was sad to see such a loved musical leave the West End. But when I was invited to go and give 9 to 5 a watch I was intrigued after it opened to positive reviews.
With lots of promotion in the UK by Parton herself (never thought I’d see Dolly on the One Show) and a cast made up of both theatre veterans (I saw Caroline Sheen star as Violet) and celebrity talent (Amber Davies as Judy, Brian Conley as Franklin Hart Jr) I was excited to see what the buzz was about.
I’m pleased to say I left the Savoy Theatre after just over two indulgently enjoyable hours of slapstick jokes (enough of Brian Conleys body to make your nan blush), country inspired songs (Backwoods Barrie) and vibrant visuals that mix into a joyful concoction that only a proper feel good musical can produce. A feeling that similarly left me skipping out of the Novello following a performance of Mamma Mia and that propelled the immediate on-my-feet applause that I gave Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.
Ok, it’s not the most thought provoking piece of theatre and I personally haven’t listened to any of the songs since but it’s undeniably fun and definitely a worthy midweek watch as a tonic to work (despite ironically being about an office).
The cast are phenomenal with stand out performances from Natalie McQueen as Doralee Rose and Amber Davies in her well deserved West End debut (forgetting Love Island fame) as Judy.
If you’re looking for fun and well produced theatre you’ll find it in abundance here and testament to that is the recent announcement that it’s going on a UK tour.
If you don’t get to watch it in London then definitely give it a watch when it heads out across the UK and be delightfully entertained.