REVIEW: 9 to 5 (Upstairs at the Gatehouse) ★★★★

Set in a corporate office led by the evil and corrupt Franklin Hart, Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 follows the story of three powerhouse women who are tired of “the man” putting them down.

The show is incredibly uplifting. It has a real energy that runs through its core which rarely dips. The characters are well rounded, and director Joesph Hodge has created a really warm atmosphere that encases the show. Chris Whittaker’s intelligent and exciting choreography hits the delicate balance the show needs, and I think it is one of the reasons the show stays at such a high energy throughout.

Standout performances come from Louise Olley who plays the once hated secretary turned hero, Doralee. Olley’s voice and stage presence radiates throughout and brings such a wonderful complexity to the role. The other is Matthew Chase’s endearing and funny Joe. His duet, Let Love Grow with the lovely Pippa Winslow as Violet, was my favourite number in the show.

The whole cast gel brilliantly and they sound fantastic led by the wonderful musical direction of Oliver Hance. Hodge’s production is high quality on every level, utilising the theatre brilliantly (one of my favourite fringe venues in London). 9 to 5 is a heart warming and charming evening of theatre. Don’t miss it.

Reviewed by Kara Taylor Alberts