Working 9 to 5!

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Some days it just feels like you’re tumbling out of bed and stumbling to the kitchen. As you pour yourself a little cup of ambition, dare I say you yawn and stretch and try to come to life?

If you can relate, perhaaaaps need a break from the working grind, and have a thing for feminist musicals, Perth Amateur Operatic Society’s annual show is going to be right up your street.

Oh – and if you haven’t picked up on my “subtle” hints – PAOS are bringing their take on the classic ‘9 to 5’ to the Horsecross stage this April!

The story highlights the lives of three women - Violet, Doralee and Judy - who are employed as secretaries at Consolidated Industries. The company’s president, Franklin Hart, is a misogynist who treats women with varying degrees of disrespect. After a particularly stressful day, the three women get together to plot a plan that starts a chain of events that completely change both the treatment of the female workers, and the direction of their lives in a big way…

One of the main themes of the show is about women finding a voice.“This year’s show choice seems to have been a good one as Dolly Parton seems  to have a great fan base in Perth”, Jane Taylor, who plays Violet tells me. “We are quite a small company this year with 26 people on stage, so everyone is pulling out all the stops to bring this high energy, fast-paced show to life!”

Indeed, the final few weeks of rehearsals are always the most intense, and especially so in this production. “The ensemble are involved in almost every musical number so rehearsals have been full on!”, Jane tells me. “We now rehearse around three times a week – fortunately modern technology allows us to record our dance rehearsals so we can keep watching and improving our routines.”

“I look after my youngest grandson two days a week and, at 21 months, he seems quite happy to listen to me practising my songs!”, she laughs.

The supportive atmosphere and camaraderie of the ensemble, along with their shared passion, definitely motivates them through the intense rehearsal schedule. Jane tells me, “I feel very much supported by the members of the company and there is always a real feeling of us all working together.” Bekki, who plays Doralee adds, “My better half understands that rehearsing takes over my life and I think it quite suits him - especially when the football is on!”

Although the film starring Dolly Parton was released in 1980, many of the themes are still relevant today. 9 to 5 tackles these issues with a healthy dose of humour and unapologetic vivaciousness. “One of the main themes of the show is about women finding a voice”, says Jane. “There are some clear comparisons with the #MeToo movement.”

9 to 5 musical - cast

“The treatment of women in the workplace is still a very real issue and sadly, some of the problems raised in the show are still causing difficulties for women 40 years on. Even although the show is quite light-hearted, anything which evokes discussion can only be a good thing.”

The three lead roles are known for their courage and strength – and it is evident that the actors cast in these roles relate to their characters in many ways. “Violet and I are both very independent, firmly believe in equality for women and value great friendships,” says Jane.

Bekki, who plays Doralee, agrees, “Dolly Parton is a living legend; to play the role made famous by her is the opportunity of a lifetime. When I was cast as Doralee there was a running joke about two particular similarities I have with her. But in seriousness, I think our personalities aren’t far off – she has a kind heart and is really bubbly – which I like to think I am too!”

Perth Theatre is such a beautiful venue and we are so privileged to have the chance to perform there.

And as for Nicola, who plays Judy, she says, “I think I am quite similar to Judy although when I’m nervous I do ramble rather than share trivia as Judy does! She is such an exciting character though, as she grows so much as a person during the show, and is very easy to relate to.”

As the big stage opening at Perth Theatre draws in closer, there is a palpable excitement amongst the entire ensemble. And personally myself, I can’t wait to see the culmination of their hard work bursting into life on the big stage! Says Bekki, “Perth Theatre is such a beautiful venue and we are so privileged to have the chance to perform there.”

“We’re looking forward to finally showing the people of Perth what we have been working on; it’s a really uplifting show - and we can’t wait to blow the roof off the place at the end of each night!”


'9 to 5' runs from Tuesday the 9th of April to Saturday the 13th of April inclusive. Check out our event page for all the details and how to book tickets >>>

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