What a Way to Make a Living in 9 To 5 The Musical!

Amy, Mark, Natalie, Bonnie and Jackie in 9 To 5 at Milton Keynes Theatre.
Amy, Mark, Natalie, Bonnie and Jackie in 9 To 5 at Milton Keynes Theatre.

There are two stand out memories of the 1980 hit film 9 To 5 – the title track, which went on to be one of Dolly Parton’s biggest hits, and the debut of her magnificent 40DD assets on the big screen.

Amy Lennox is having to wear falsies, much to the amusement of cast members, when she takes Dolly’s role as secretary Doralee Rhodes is the smash hit stage musical of the story which comes to Milton Keynes Theatre on March 4.

9 To 5.

9 To 5.

But while Amy, who starred in the stage version of Legally Blonde, may need a bit of extra oomph in the décolletage department her voice is voluptuous. Dolly would be blown away.

9 To 5 features a cast of familiar faces – from theatre legend Bonnie Langford and Holby City/ Hollyoaks favourite Mark Moraghan to the wisecracking (and world record-holding) Natalie Casey from Two Pints of Lager & A Packet of Crisps, and stage and screen actor Jackie Clune.

The entire cast broke off from rehearsals to visit Milton Keynes Theatre to meet the press and selected public to promote the upcoming show that, we are told, will put a smile on your face and a song in your head.

It’s one of those wonderfully upbeat, feel-good, musicals that delivers a fun-filled story about woman-power and sexual equality. The comedy tells the story of a group of women office workers who decide to get their own back on their hands-on (male) boss.

The bubbly Bonnie plays Roz Keith, the unlikeable officious PA who has the hots for her sleazy boss Franklin Hart (Moraghan). The only problem is that the sexist, bigoted, misogynistic Hart just wants to get to grips with the sexy Doralee.

“It’s a bit of a cameo role for me,” says Bonnie.

“The story is set in the 1970s and has that great look of awful hairdos and clothes.

“Roz is a real memo freak. She’s the office busy-body who is completely in love with her boss, even though no-one else is, and it’s completely unrequited.

“I call her the 50 Shades of Grey lady. If it had been out in 1979, when this story is set, she would have been reading it at home.

“The production is quite true to the film. A lot of women in the audience will identify with the story. They tend to come in groups and get very excited.

“It’s a great fun musical. It’s downright silly actually. Don’t come if you want to have some intense emotional experience. It’s just uplifting, fun and high energy.”

Mark can’t wait to play the obnoxious Hart. He said: “He’s a real chauvinist. A great guy really! No, he’s actually a nasty piece of work and they’re the best characters to play.

“But a lot of people will identify with the characters. They’ll love the jokes and the music is just fantastic. Everyone will leave the theatre with a smile on their faces.”

Slimline Amy has a big bra to fill on stage. “It’s quite daunting but I’m enjoying it,” she told me.

“I have to wear these false breasts. I think they’re a 40DD, double-D Doralee she’s called. I’m just a 32 so it was a bit strange for a while because I could see them in my peripheral vision and the cast kept prodding them.

“There was definitely a lot of favourable reaction from the men in the cast!”

And the adorable Dolly Parton adds a final message to fans: “I am so excited that 9 To 5 the Musical is coming to Milton Keynes.

“I’m hoping that you have as much fun watching it as I had writing the music for it.

“9 To 5 is perfect for anyone that’s ever wanted to string up their boss, which is almost all of us. So come and join the fun!”

Running from March 4-9. For tickets call the box office 0844 8717652 or visit www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes.