Chichester students go 9 to 5 with Dolly Parton's classics on tour
The University of Chichester’s celebrated regional touring company returns this month with a new production of Dolly Parton’s 9 To 5 The Musical.
The show will once again open at the Alexandra Theatre, Bognor Regis and this year will tour to Tunbridge Wells in Kent and Hastings in East Sussex as well as returning to its second home at the Theatre Royal Winchester.
Show spokesman Paul Ackerley said: “University of Chichester has been licensed to tour its own imagining of the riotous, feminist comedy for a short three-county south-east tour.
“University of Chichester’s musical theatre triple threat course is now regarded in academic circles as one of the top-flight courses in the country, alongside the London conservatoires and has been awarded a coveted Spotlight place, the database to which the world’s leading casting directors turn for their musical theatre performers.
“It’s an appropriate accolade in the course’s tenth-anniversary year.
“Head of musical theatre Karen Howard, who has led the triple threat degree course from the very beginning, is also directing 9 To 5, along with her other long-established colleague, choreographer Damien Delaney.
“The performing leadership team is completed by music director, Brady Mould, who conducts a group of professional West End musicians. Brady takes over from Dustin Conrad who musically-directed the university’s Bernstein tour last year.”
Paul added: “9 To 5 The Musical tells the story of Doralee, Violet and Judy – three workmates pushed to boiling point by their sexist and egotistical boss.
“Concocting a plan to kidnap and turn the tables on their despicable supervisor, will the girls manage to reform their office?
“Or will events unravel when the CEO pays an unexpected visit?”
Inspired by the cult film, Paul is promising an hilarious new touring production.
“It is a story about teaming up, standing up and taking care of business!”
Actors Sophie Spencer and Jasmine Townley who play Violet and Doralee respectively are thrilled to be mirroring the roles that Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton portrayed in the original film.
Sophie said: “These are iconic characters and with the West End show running simultaneously, we need to be at our technical best.
“We’re in safe hands though.
“The professional creative team we are working with give us so much support and have international credentials themselves so it has been an inspiring journey for us and a fitting end to the completion of our studies at Chichester.
“It’s also a fully-scaled production and we are touring to some of the nicest theatres in the region.”
Sophie and the rest of the cast are relishing the prospect – and all the opportunities it might just bring along in its wake.
“It really is an opportunity in our lifetime.”
The tour opens in Bognor Regis on Friday, March 22.
The complete tour is: Friday, March 22nd, 7.30pm Alexandra Theatre, Bognor Regis; Saturday, March 23, 2.30pm Alexandra Theatre, Bognor Regis; Saturday, March 23, 7.30pm Alexandra Theatre, Bognor Regis; Sunday, March 24, 7.30pm Trinity Theatre, Tunbridge Wells; Tuesday, March 26, 7.30pm White Rock Theatre, Hastings; and Sunday, March 31, 7.30pm Theatre Royal Winchester.