Country star Dolly Parton says the Me Too movement means now is the perfect time for her musical about women in the workplace to open in the UK.
9 To 5 The Musical, which features music and lyrics by Parton, follows office worker Violet Newstead as she takes revenge on her sexist boss.
Speaking on the red carpet at the Savoy Theatre during the gala night, the performer said she hoped women walked away feeling “empowered” by the show.
She said: “I think it is as relevant now as it was before. In a way, with the new Me Too movement, I think this is a really good time for it, and that’s what really inspired them to actually come here to the West End to do it.
“We tried to get here a few years ago but now the timing’s good and we girls are out there saying: ‘Yes we can do it.’ We’ve still got a long way to go, but it is very entertaining in addition to making a good point.”
Asked what she hoped the audience would get from the show, she replied: “I hope they go away feeling fun, like they have had a good time, feeling inspired by the music, and I hope the girls go away feeling empowered.”
Based on the 1980 film of the same name, the stage version features Caroline Sheen as Violet, Amber Davies as Judy, Brian Conley as Franklin and Natalie McQueen as Doralee.
Asked whether she had any advice to offer the UK on the matter of Brexit, the US singer replied: “We can’t hardly even take care of our own problems, let alone try and solve yours.”
After the show, Parton appeared on stage to a standing ovation and was joined by Pat Resnick, who penned the original film, and the show’s director Jeff Calhoun.
She said: “This entire experience has been so wonderful. I’m so proud of all of you, you make me look good. This has been a wonderful night for me.”
Addressing the applauding crowd, which included Louise Redknapp – who will join the cast in March after she recovers from an injury, Bradley Walsh and Graham Norton, she said: “I’ve got a jet waiting for me, I’ve got to get back to Nashville but I just want to say thank you so much.”
9 To 5 The Musical runs at the Savoy Theatre until August 31.