With final preparations well in hand Eastbourne Operatic and Dramatic Society memebrs are excited next week to be staging the Eastbourne premier of 9 to 5 - The Musical at the Devonshire Park Theatre.
This is a highly engaging production that achieves a winning mix of female indignation, raucous good humour and genuinely touching moments. This show takes on everything from salary discrepancies to the good old boys network, sexual harassment and dating out of your decade. It is a joyful celebration using a dominant female cast, with some great men spinkled in for eye candy.
The storyline goes back to 1979 when office life was very different from today. Franklin Hart is the epitome of a pompous, smarmy boss who is always making advances to his female staff. Pushed to the limit three unlikely friends, Violet, Judy and Doralee plot to take control of the company that has let all the staff down. What follows is a hilarious chain of events full of twists which will keep audiences laughing throughout.
This is essentially a girls’ night out, but chaps who get dragged along to see it will have a good time, too, though they may wince at the cruel indignities on the lecherous Franklin, who is kidnapped after trying it on once too often with his secretary.
The pneumatic, pistol-packing country girl known as Dolly Parton has come up with a host of great ditties for the stage version, ranging from the wry and comic to more deeply felt tunes. Musical numbers include Around Here, Shine Like the Sun, One of the Boys and of course the famous 9 to 5.
Dolly Parton is one of the great singing talents and songwriters of our times. Those of you who think that Taylor Swift invented break up songs should run and not walk to see this show about overcoming obstacles through resourcefulness, friendship and empowering women.
9 to 5 remains a feel-good satire on the injustices and monotony of office life. It also provides the opportunity to hear some Grammy nominated music from Dolly, delivered by such real talent. It seemed improbable, given the cult status of the movie starring Melanie Griffith, Harrison Ford and Sigourney Weaver, but the stage show has met and raised it, rather than being its pale imitation.
So ladies, bring your other half, your friends, your boss and your parents out to see an absolutely charming and hilarious show.
Directed by Keith Smith with Carl Greenwood as musical director and choreography by Teresa Smith this musical opens on Tuesday May 31 and runs until Saturday June 4. Nightly performances at 7.45pm pm with matinees on Wednesday and Saturday at 2.30pm. Tickets cost £16 with concs at £14. Telephone box office on 01323 412000 or go to www.eastbourneshows.co.uk