A couple of things stand out from Peterborough Operatic and Dramatic Society’s production of 9 To 5, which runs at The Cresset until Saturday - and I don’t just mean Doralee’s Double Ds.
PODS have won a clutch of awards in the past couple of years and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this film-inspired musical following in the footsteps of previous shows.
It’s a story of female empowerment, and the casting of the three main protagonists was a masterstroke.
Regular leading lady Amanda Villamayor is once again on top form as Violet, the single mum trying to make her way in a 1970’s male-dominated office. And this time we get to see her sing and dance, too.
A powerful performance from the all-rounder, which could have dominated had her two female co-stars not delivered too.
Hannah Joy Gibson is a great foil as vivacious, blonde cowgirl Doralee, with a spot-on country girl accent to boot. Georgie Evans is a revelation as the slightly nervy stay-at-home-wife Judy suddenly thrust into the world of work after being dumped by her cheating husband.
Another great piece of character acting from her, and what a voice. “oh, hello, she can sing” I thought as she delivered her first solo.Her second half showstopper - Get Out And Stay Out - was on another level. Not an easy sing this, but wow, and hardly surprising it saw some in the audience stand to applaud.
The trio end up plotting against their sexist, egotistical boss Franklin Hart Jr, which gives Calvin Lawrence a chance to shine in the lead male role. He ultimately gets his comeuppance but plays the rotter with just the right amount of humour along the way.
There is great support from Nikki Marsden, as busybody Roz, and a hilarious cameo from Heather Knapp as office drunk Margaret.
Director Rob Bristow and Nikki Marsden (and the ensemble, of course), deserve credit for great choreography on what is at times a packed stage and the terrific Dolly Parton score is in safe hands with maestro Steve Hession and his orchestra.
REVIEW: Brad Barnes