Review: 9-5 The Musical – Festival Theatre, 2022

From music legend and icon Dolly Parton comes the hit musical 9 to 5 The Musical and finally Adelaide can clock in and enjoy the fun!

Led by a talented, all-star cast, we are treated to wicked humour, a lively soundtrack, and stand out acting and dancing making 9 to 5 a must see for South Australians. 

Based on the popular 1980 film of the same name, 9 to 5 follows Violet, Judy and Doralee, three smart and savvy women working for an arrogant and sexist boss. 

Fed up with their constant mistreatment by their male co-workers, they decide to take matters into their own hands.

Renowned performer Marina Prior is the perfect fit as Violet; her characterisation and connection with her character gives the audience an insight of what it was like to be a woman working in the 1980s.

Prior’s performance in ‘One of the Boys’ is one of the show’s highlights, perfectly showcasing Prior’s vocal talent, accompanied by perfect choreography and visual effects. 

Casey Donovan is hilarious and exceptional as Judy Bernly, brilliantly showcasing the character’s journey from an unsure and apologetic character to a strong and independent woman. 

Donovan’s vocals are flawless, particularly in ‘Get Out and Stay Out’, where her vocal power and technique accentuates a moving moment in the show. In moments, her acting is not as strong as the others, but she shows great character growth and powerhouse vocals.

Erin Clare wows the audience with her performance as Doralee Rhodes. Her accent is consistent and so realistic that, sometimes, it feels like Dolly Parton herself is performing.

The three perfectly complement each other in harmonies, and bounce off each others’ energy. The accents can not be faulted, and genuinely help to convey the show’s messages of empowerment and courage, even when being ignored and belittled.

Eddie Perfect is ‘perfect’ as Franklin Hart Jr,m; funny, natural and well cast. 

Another standout is Caroline O’Connor, who puts everything into hilarious crowd pleaser, ‘Heart to Hart’. 

The ensemble performed some phenomenal dance numbers, perfectly complementing the action, although occasionally the music was too loud for all the performer’s mics. 

Dolly Parton adds a welcome surprise, appearing in an on-stage screen to interact with the audience.

Sets, lighting and orchestral range truly transports us back to 1980’s offices, and the comedy helps highlight the hypocrisy and workplace gender inequality. 

It is impossible to not love this laughter- filled, unapologetic, thrilling musical.

The show must knock off in three weeks, so grab your tickets HERE

Words by Niamh Trainor
Photo supplied