Preview: Leave your 9 To 5 worries at home and enjoy a feel-good musical

Sarah Smith, Toni Macfarlane, Robyn Smith and Liam Bowie

Dolly Parton’s Tony award-nominated 9 To 5: The Musical will be brought to Aberdeen Arts Centre by Treading The Boards Musical Society (TTB).

Established in 1990, TTB is Aberdeen’s only student-run amateur musical company.

Toni MacFarlane, who studies management and psychology at the University of Aberdeen, said:

“This is my fourth and final show with TTB. “There is nothing better than having rehearsals twice a week you can look forward to because you know you will get to meet all your friends.

“It is a fun way to be able to do what you enjoy while still at uni without having the pressure of trying to become a professional actor.”

Based on the 1980 film of the same name, 9 To 5: The Musical tells the story of three strong women who unite in common hatred of their boss Franklin Hart Jr, president of Consolidated Industries.

Toni will portray Violet, played by Lily Tomlin in the film.

She said: “Violet is the definition of a strong independent woman.

“She is very good at what she does and she puts up with all her boss’ demands in the hope that she will finally get promoted, but then she is denied that promotion because she is a woman.

“And you can see that even though she starts off as a very strong character, you just see her get stronger and stronger.

“She is standing up for what she wants. I like her.”

While the musical is set in the late 1970s, the story of friendship and women’s empowerment in the workplace is still relevant today.

Toni said: “I think the whole musical explores prejudice and discrimination in the past but there is still some way to go for women everywhere.

“So the 9 To 5 kinds of gives people hope that change can happen.

“It celebrates people making a stand against oppression.”

Audiences will be in for a Dolly good time and they can look forward to singing along to the queen of country music’s best-known song 9 To 5, as well as other catchy tunes.

While Toni really likes the classic 9 To 5, she also enjoys performing Shine Like the Sun, the last song of the first act. Toni thinks the song is “so powerful” because it is when “the three main women realise they can make a change”.

She added: “The musical has a really good sound track.

“The music itself is a good enough reason to come see the show because you cannot beat a bit of Dolly Parton.”

Sarah Smith (Doralee), Toni MacFarlane (Violet) and Robyn Smith (Judy)

Members of TTB fund the musical themselves.

Toni said: “Putting on a show is not a cheap thing to do so we work very hard to raise money.

“Everything we put on stage we fund ourselves.

“Just through fundraising and doing things like pub quizzes and karaoke nights, we managed to raise £200 per event.

“We have to do as many of them as we possibly can to be able to put on the show.”

This year, the musical society was lucky to secure sponsorship as well.

If you would like to become a member of the society, Toni recommends keeping an eye on the group’s Facebook page –Treading The Boards Musical Society.

She added: “We have auditions in September and we announce them on our Facebook page.

“Non-students are welcome as well.”

The feel-good musical premieres on Valentine’s Day and it is on until Saturday, February 17, at the Arts Centre. The shows start at 7.30pm.

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