Review: 9 to 5 The Musical, Edinburgh Playhouse ****

There is a lot the world can thank Dolly Parton for: her multi award-winning country music; her iconic style and character; her philanthropy; and of course her $1 million donation to the lifesaving Moderna vaccine —which makes it so fitting for 9 to 5 the Musical to be the opening show as the Edinburgh Playhouse comes back to life.

Based on the 80s cult film of the same name, 9 to 5 the Musical tells the story of Violent, Doralee and Judy, three feisty colleagues looking to bring down the workplace patriarchy. Harassed, criticised and judged by their chauvinistic boss, Franklin Hart Jnr., (played by the hilarious Sean Needham), the three ladies plot their revenge and all chaos unfolds.

Starring pop sensation Louise Redknapp who delivers a stellar performance as Violet Newstead, the wonderful Stephanie Chandos as Doralee Rhodes (Dolly Parton’s character) and Vivian Panka, who delivers a top class performance as Judy Bernly. Panka is also making her professional UK stage debut in this production.

9 to 5 the Musical is mischievous good fun that will certainly have you laughing throughout. It’s an ode to ‘Girl Power’ and the perfect escape from the usual 9 to 5 (even if that does now entail working from home). 

Workplace politics aside, it has been 545 long days since the Edinburgh Playhouse lowered the stage curtain and closed its doors as a result of the pandemic. Hundreds of Playhouse employees were unable to continue with their usual roles when the theatre had to close, turning their skills to everything from food delivery to care work, leaving just Albert the inhouse ghost to keep the spirit of the stage alive on site.

But the venue has returned with a bang. All the necessary Covid restrictions are in place and the Playhouse is taking all the right precautions to stay open and bring some much needed musical fun to Edinburgh.

It’s like we’ve never been away—welcome back Edinburgh Playhouse.

9 to 5 the Musical is playing at the Edinburgh Playhouse until Saturday 18 September

Words: Aimee Stanton

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