FROM the moment Dolly Parton's iconic song '9 to5' came on at the Haymarket the audience was fixed on the Basingstoke Amateur Theatrical Society (BATS) production.

Based on the film of the same name, the musical sees three-woman Violet, Doralee and Judy are pushed to boiling point by their sexist and egotistical boss.

From the off the show was fast paced, full of laughs and a lot of innuendo.

Nicola Morrin, was a dominant presence on the stage as Violet Newstead, with Laura Burrell acting as her perfect foil as the at time naive Judy Bernly.

However, it was Millie Clucas giving her best Dolly Parton impression as Doralee Rhodes, who every time you heard that Southern twang you could be convinced you were no longer in Basingstoke.

As the performance develops, we see how the friendship between this somewhat unlikely trio unfolds before our eyes as they have to deal with being women in a men’s world.

Stephen Westwood looked like he was having a bit too much fun in the role of sleazy boss Franklin Hart jnr, but the best laughs were kept for Sally Manning's interoperation of brown noser Roz Keith.

As have become accustom with the many BATS productions I have attended, the choreography and set design is always something to behold, and even if there was a slight technical snag, it didn’t detract from the story.

Throughout the three leading ladies were completely captivating and each one let their characters personality shine through.

In a time when there are still ongoing fights for equal rights for women, it is a little bit jarring to think that the type of behaviour displayed in 9 to 5 for a long time was the norm.

That being said, BATS tackle the subject sensitively, if not with their own trademark brand of humour sprinkled throughout.  

Despite minor technical difficulties BATS once again showed their quality in the performance and the depth of talent they have at their disposal.  

9 to 5 show runs at the Haymarket until November 23.

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