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What a way to make a living: 9 to 5 The Musical set to arrive in Qld

Culture

As the country is stumbling to the kitchen to pour itself a cup of ambition this week, Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 is a musical for all the workers who have fantasised about making their boss disappear for a day, or a week.

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9 to 5: The Musical will arrive on the QPAC stage in May, with the West End musical featuring some of Australia’s biggest stars.

Parton’s hit was written to accompany the film 9 to 5, which aired in the 1980’s and starred Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin alongside Parton herself.

The musical adaptation follows a similar storyline, three women under the heel of an autocratic boss scheme to get their revenge.

Doralee, Violet, and Judy work under their nightmarish bully boss Franklin Hart Jr, a sadistic sexist who makes their lives hell.

The musical follows them as their patience inevitably runs out, and they concoct a series of harebrained schemes to exact their revenge against him.

“I am so excited that 9 to 5 is coming to Brisbane with Marina, Casey and Erin playing Violet, Judy and Doralee alongside Caroline and Eddie in the Australian cast,” said Dolly Parton.

“The response to 9 to 5 from around the world has been incredible so far. I can’t wait for everyone down under to have a fun (and funny) night out.”

Eddie Perfect, one of Australia’s most respected performers, will play Franklin Hart Jr, with Oliver award-nominated Caroline O’Connor as his sycophantic secretary Roz Keith.

Australian soprano Marina Prior will play top-job contender Violet Newstead, Casey Donovan will play company newcomer Judy Bernly, and Erin Clare is cast as Doralee Rhodes, the young country woman originally played by Parton.

Casey Donovan, Marina Prior, Erin Clare (Image: Peter Brew-Bevan)

“We’re thrilled that Marina and Erin will return to the cast of 9 to 5 to join Caroline and Eddie, and that the wonderful Casey Donovan will be alongside them,” said producers John Frost and Suzanne Jones.

“Now 9 to 5 is back in business with a full cast, theatres booked and audiences clamouring to buy tickets.

“When Covid triggered the shutdown of theatres back in March 2020, we were two weeks away from commencing rehearsals.

“Now it’s exciting that we’re assembling our cast, and coming to Brisbane after the Sydney season. 9 to 5 is back in business, and it’s going to be pure, gold carat fun.”

The film itself took its inspiration from the labour organisation 9to5, a group of Boston secretaries in the 1970’s who advocated for better pay, more opportunity, and the end of sexual harassment in the workplace.

Jane Fonda said she developed the film after listening to a friend from the 9to5 movement talk about their drive for workplace revolution.

Parton’s hit song ‘9 to 5’ was written on the set of the film, rocketing her into the high echelons of pop culture stardom.

The musical adaptation was created by the film’s screenwriter, Patricia Resnick, with an original soundtrack featuring music written by Parton.

The show opened on Broadway in 2009, and has since been performed around the world with the Australian run arriving off the back of a successful stint in London’s West End.

9 to 5: The Musical will kick off at QPAC on 22 May and run until 5 June, for more information visit their website. 

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