9 to 5 the Musical, Wales Millennium Centre

This not quite a musical version of the much-loved 1980s film though Dolly Parton provides a link back to the film with a recorded introduction.

The first half focuses more on the different backgrounds of the three female leads and explores the different ways that their lives have been adversely affected by the men in their lives and male-orientated society, especially in the work-place.

Sean Needham as their sexist boss is particularly repellent and his jokes are quite shockingly anti-women, but he is saved by his Elvis impersonation and the sure knowledge that he will get his come-uppance.

Lucinda Lawrence as Roz, the PA in love with the boss, steals a part of the show with her over-the-top erotics and some great dancing.

But the show belongs to the three female leads, Caroline Sheen as Violet, Amber Davies as Judy and Georgina Castle as Doralee (though this must be hard to play when Dolly Parton keeps popping up to remind us of the original Doralee).

This tale of bringing women’s rights into the workplace is carefully structured, showing why it is needed and steers clear of ‘woke’ lecturing.

The fact that they achieve their aims more by misfortune than by seizing power and “manning” the barricades might disappoint the feminist element but where they end up is driven by their vision of an equal and caring work-place. But the touch is light-hearted and funny and the music is more than just the well-known ‘9 to 5’ with a variety of styles – some more successful than others.

Until November 2

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