Thursday 12 December 2019

Nine to Five The Musical - Review

Savoy Theatre, London


Music & lyrics by Dolly Parton
Book by Patricia Resnick
Directed by Jeff Calhoun

David Hasselhoff

As David Hasselhoff steps into the role of sexist misogynist boss Franklin Hart Jnr in Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5, the show is lifted to an even higher plane of brilliant musical theatre comedy. Hart is a 2-dimensional shallow monster, and with Hasselhoff stepping up (or down) to the role, the self-deprecation that sees a globally recognised TV star being humiliatingly hoisted around the stage clad only in bondage gear, is quite simply a treat. Hasselhoff has a decent voice too - he still retains legendary status in Germany as a singer - which only adds to the show's fun.  

The audience cheer ‘The Hoff’ on his first appearance - he could just as easily be being booed by the crowd for his character’s despicable antics and attitudes come the final bows - and it is this pantomime aspect that makes an already outstanding show, a perfect night out.

Any successful musical can only be as strong as its book and Patricia Resnick’s 1980s fable does a fine job of creating believable, and above all, relatable issues from her 2-D comic book heroines and villains. Coming from way before the #MeToo era, the sexual harassment and exploitation of the storyline may be played for laughs on stage, and the show’s ending maybe as fantastic as a fairytale, but the laughs are all at the expense of the bad guy(s). 

Caroline Sheen as key protagonist Violet Newstead remains flawless in her leading the company. Natalie McQueen’s Doralee Rhodes - the Dolly Parton tribute character - is equally strong, with Chelsea Halfpenny as Judy Bernly completing the talented trio. It is still Bonnie Langford's harridan Roz who stops and steals the show half way through act one. Langford's tango duet with Hasselhoff, Heart To Hart has the audience cheering to the rafters.

The show is a technical gem. Whip smart dancing, Andrew Hilton’s phenomenal band and ingenious lighting and projections all combine to create a world class night at the theatre.

Booking until 23rd May 2020
David Hasselhoff appears until 8th February 2020

1 comment:

  1. Yes! Completely agree. It’s five stars from me too!