9 to 5

Over the past few years, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland haven’t failed to impress me with their performances at the Fringe and this year is no exception. Bringing to life the Dolly Parton musical 9 to 5, this engaging young cast prove once again why RCS really is shaping a solid professional future for some of the UK’s best talent.

There are countless things things I loved about this performance.

The musical itself, opening with a slightly tweaked version of the title song, bursts onto stage with colour and energy and starts to introduce our characters to us. The story here is based mostly on three women working in an office; one the new girl recovering from the breakdown of her marriage, the other a blonde bombshell who can’t seem to get past other people's assumptions of her and the last a smart, managerial type, who can’t seem to move up the ladder. The women battle with the constant harassment and sexism that stops them from achieving their goals and being treated fairly, until eventually they snap and take things into their own hands. Really quite literally.

There are countless things things I loved about this performance. Right from the outset it’s hard to ignore the amazingly crafted set, made from rainbow coloured filing cabinets, with moving pieces that the cast interact with. The definition of simply-done-well. Choreographer Paul Smethurst has done so well to not only seamlessly work this into the dance pieces but also create relaxed choreography that let the cast maintain their characterisation – they aren't shackled to over complicated movements and yet still really show off what they can do. In terms of the cast there are a couple of real highlights. Genevieve Clarke as wannabe “female CEO” Violet Newstead was superb; sharp and mature in her characterisation, she had me totally on her side. Alice Robertson, playing wrongfully dismissed Maria, a pretty small part, but who also for me became the most memorable member of the ensemble, as an infectiously charismatic member of the cast.

A few of the lead role voices are a little faltering, but this may be the cast still settling into their roles and with a cast as determined as these guys are to smash every aspect of this show this is sure to only improve throughout the run. 

Reviews by Hannah Lucy Baker

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Since you’re here…

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You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
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Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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The Blurb

Daily grind getting you down? Chauvinistic bosses passing you over? Ladies, fight back! Based on the cult 80s movie with the one-and-only Dolly Parton, 9 to 5 is a real feel-good musical. Three co-workers stage a hostile takeover from their sexist boss, but can they pull it off? Features original music from Dolly Parton's Oscar, Tony and Grammy nominated score, including Backwoods Barbie, Shine Like the Sun and of course 9 to 5. This is not your normal 9-5 musical! ‘A joy to watch… RCS productions stand out from many others at the Fringe’ ***** (One4Review.co.uk, 2015).

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