Award-winning musical 9 to 5 dazzles Edinburgh audiences

The Edinburgh Playhouse welcomed musical 9 to 5

Audiences have been singing and dancing at the Edinburgh Playhouse this past week as the musical 9 to 5 continued its UK tour in the Scottish capital, with its closing show on Saturday evening.

The musical, which features the Oscar, Grammy and Tony award-nominated score by Dolly Parton, has seen a range of famous cast members, including pop star Louise Redknapp and Love Island 2017 winner Amber Davies, who both performed at The Playhouse. 

It tells the story of three women in the workplace in the male-dominated, chauvinistic ‘80’s and their struggle with toxic masculinity – but it features feel-good music and a happy ending. 

Sean Needham, who plays chauvinistic boss Franklin Hart JR on the tour, said that, regardless of the negative things about the character, he is fun to portray. 

He said: “We obviously take the subject matter very seriously but, as we are a musical comedy, we have to make the subject accessible and we do this through making Franklin Hart a bit of an idiot, a Buffoon so we see the potential of a threat and enough so people can recognise it in maybe their own lives, but make it fun enough for people to feel comfortable enough to enjoy themselves and have a good night.”

Sean Needham plays boss Franklin Hart JR for the UK tour

Speaking of the show-day routine, Sean said:As an individual, I do very little, maybe a few little vocal habits as I’m walking to the stage, or making sure my flies are done up. 

“As a group though, we do a warm up about an hour before the show, which is like 10 minute cardio routine and then a 10 minute vocal warm up. 

“We all have a chat about the show ahead, if any understudies are on or if we need to change anything etc. Then we go back to our dressing rooms and get ready or in my case FaceTime my kids.”

The show, which debuted in London in January 2019, continues to be shown there, while a separate cast complete the UK tour, which finishes in Dublin this week.

Speaking of the performances in Edinburgh, Sean said: “It’s well known in the industry that Scottish audiences in general are the most responsive on the touring circuit.

“They’ll certainly let you know if they don’t like it, but when they do, it’s the most incredible reaction. Last week at the Playhouse was off the charts crazy, which is testament to the show. They loved it!”

Speaking to people on the streets of Edinburgh, this is what people said about the show:

Julie from Morecambe said: “Oh, I love Dolly Parton! We travelled 2 and a half hours to come for the night as Dolly Parton is our favourite!

Anne from Edinburgh said: “We wanted to see the show because it’s Dolly Parton themed and its our era, it’s a sing-along with a good atmosphere.”

Sharon from Edinburgh said: “We thought it would be fun! We couldn’t get another ticket because it’s very busy. I like the music and I thought it would be a very fun musical and I think the music will make people sing.”

The show will be returning to Scotland during the 2020 UK tour next September at Eden Court in Inverness.

Watch the official trailer for the musical below, starring country music legend Dolly Parton herself!