New Wimbledon Theatre launch party offers eagerly awaited sneak peek


The theatre’s launch party offered a peek at the new, eagerly awaited season featuring Legally Blonde and 9 to 5.


By Robert Edwards

AN ENTICING glimpse of things to come, the New Wimbledon Theatre’s launch of Legally Blonde and 9 to 5 offered a peek at the theatre’s new, eagerly awaited season.

Gareth Gates and Faye Brooks, who will star as Warner and Elle in Legally Blonde the Musical this autumn, sampled songs from 2011’s Olivier Award winning Best Musical. 

Gareth shot to fame in 2002 when voted runner-up in the UK’s first series of Pop Idol. He has since gone on to sell 3.5 million records in the UK alone.

They were joined by the cast of 9 to 5 and, via pre-recorded video link, Dolly Parton herself, to sample and celebrate the arrival of her Oscar and four-time Grammy Award nominated musical in Wimbledon. 

Howard Panter, joint Chief Executive of Ambassador Theatre Group, said: “Legally Blonde the Musical is a roaring success. 

“People across the UK from Bristol to York and as far as Glasgow have taken Legally Blonde into their hearts and are having an Elle of a party at the theatre.”

The show follows the journey of sassy Elle Woods. When her boyfriend, Warner, dumps her she decides to follow him to Harvard Law School and win him back. 

With some help from newfound friends Paulette, Emmett and her Chihuahua Bruiser, she learns that it’s so much better to be smart.

Directed by Tony and Olivier Award winning Jerry Mitchell (Hairspray), the show, also starring Jennifer Ellison of TV’s Brookside and the big screen’s adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera, will run from Tuesday, September 25 to Saturday, October 6.  

Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 The Musical is a story of friendship, gossip and revenge. Based on the movie and direct from Broadway, this musical comedy centres on three office workers who turn the tables on their boss. 

With 18 original numbers that mix Broadway and pop with Dolly’s signature witty lyrics, the girls conspire to take control of the company and learn there’s nothing they can’t do – even in a man’s world. 

“9 to 5 the Musical is perfect for anyone that’s ever wanted to string up their boss, which is almost all of us,” said Dolly in her New Wimbledon Theatre big screen address.

With an estimated 100 million album sales the songwriter, film and television star and worldwide icon, Dolly Parton is one of greatest selling music artists of all time.

Written by Patricia Resnick, with music and lyrics by Dolly Parton, the show will star Natalie Casey as Judy Bernly, Jackie Clune as Violet Newstead, Bonnie Langford as Roz Keith, Amy Lennox as Doralee Rhodes and Ben Richards as Franklin Hart, running from Monday, October 21 to Saturday 27. 

Enticed by the offer of free cupcakes and cocktails, Wimbledon theatregoers took part in a ‘bend and snap’ contest, with the opportunity to win signed Dolly Parton CDs and a Gareth kiss. 

Judged by Faye Brooks on their performance, winner Adam, the only male participant, settled for a Gareth hug.

Call 0844 871 7646 or visit for information and tickets.

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