9 to 5 musical: Louise Redknapp to star in Dolly Parton’s West End production
Louise Redknapp has been cast in the West End musical version of Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5.
Dolly Parton penned the music and lyrics for the musical based on the iconic 1980 film 9 to 5, which starred gay icon trio Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin as disrespected office workers who enact violent revenge on a chauvinistic male boss.
The musical debuted on Broadway in 2008, and a decade later it’s finally coming to London’s West End.
Eternal singer Redknapp has been cast as Violet Newstead, the role played as Tomlin in the cult classic, while Love Island winner Amber Davies will step into Fonda’s shoes as Judy Bernly.
West End star Natalie McQueen will play Parton’s role, Doralee Rhodes, and Brian Conley will play the women’s boss, Franklin Hart, Jr.
Parton recorded a campy video announcing the cast.
The show opens at the Savoy Theatre from the January 28, 2019, and is booking until August 31.
Tickets are on sale from September 18.
A synopsis states: “It’s time to pour yourself a cup of ambition, as Dolly Parton’s rollicking 9 to 5 the Musical arrives in the West End! Playing a strictly limited season at London’s Savoy Theatre, the female-led, hugely fun musical follows workmates Doralee, Violet and Judy as they prepare to take revenge on their incredibly sexist supervisor.
“But as they tie him up and begin reforming the office, their CEO pays a surprise visit that none of them bargained for. Starring Louise Redknapp (Cabaret), Amber Davies (Love Island) and Natalie McQueen (Kinky Boots), alongside entertainer Brian Conley, this stellar cast is guaranteed to provide a lot of laughter.
“Featuring original music and lyrics by country legend Dolly Parton, the score was nominated for an Oscar, Grammy and Tony Award.
“A hilarious musical comedy based on the acclaimed film of the same name, 9 to 5 the Musical is a thought-provoking, entertaining show that runs for a limited season at the Savoy Theatre.”
The news comes hot on the heels of reports that a major film sequel starring the original 9 to 5 cast is in the works.
Speaking to the media at the Television Critics Association panel, she said the project is in the works, adding: “My role is as an executive producer, and I’m working with the writers, with Lily, and talking to the writers.”
“Right now, Dolly, Lily and I are all intending to be in it.”
Fonda added that she would only be in the film if it remains a celebration of strong female characters.
She also acknowledged that sexual harassment—a key theme in the film—holds particular significance 38 years on.
Fonda said: “I’m sorry to say the situation is worse today.
“Today, a lot of the workforce [is] hired by an outside company, so if there’s a problem, who do you complain to? Who do you fight with?
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“Plus with social media, the internet, you can be spied on very easily. I do think sexual harassment will tend to drop because guys are scared.”
The threesome reunited at the 2017 Emmy Awards where they referenced the film and it’s prescience in the current political environment under President Donald Trump.
Fonda said onstage: “Back in 1980 in 9 to 5, we refused to be controlled by a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot.”
Tomlin added: “And in 2017, we still refused to be controlled by a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot.”
Parson teased: “Personally, I have been waiting for a 9 to 5 reunion ever since we did the first one.”