9 to 5, The Kings Theatre, Southsea REVIEW: '˜More than worth a visit'

I'm sure you remember The School Play from your years in education; a creaky Charley's Aunt or an enthusiastic, but nevertheless poorly sung, HMS Pinafore.

Thursday, 22nd November 2018, 8:14 am
Updated Thursday, 22nd November 2018, 9:17 am

Welcome to the 21st century.

Portsmouth Grammar School are at the Kings Theatre '“ for two nights only '“ with Dolly Parton's musical version of 9 to 5 and it's more than worth a visit.

The story of three disillusioned workers in the late Seventies, victims of not only their boss's sexism, but a sexism that was (many would argue still is; another story) ingrained in society, who end up kidnapping the boss and taking over the company, making life better for the other employees and '“ of course! '“ increasing productivity.

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The central performances are incredibly strong. Vocally, Emma Watkins (Violet), Megan Fisher (Doralee) and Sofia Callander (Judy) are astonishing. Their acting isn't too shabby, either. Isaac Lee as their '˜sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot' of a boss shows an understanding of comedy technique far beyond his years and Oliver Saint as Joe has an astoundingly good singing voice.

The choreography is clever; it's aimed at non-dancers and is not complicated '“ but that simplicity is its strength. As a result, the ensemble numbers are very well-performed; no-one stands out as being brilliant, no-one appears weaker than the rest. As I said '“ clever. The ensemble vocals are strong, too.

Perhaps, perhaps the direction could have allowed soloists to do more than stand down-stage centre to sing solos, but that's small-fry.

And top marks to the extremely slick backstage crew.

Finishes today.