Spotlight on Louise Redknapp of 9 to 5 The Musical
| By Ephram Ryan
(Updated on Jan 11, 2019)
Louise Redknapp is ready to take you back to her Eternal days as she makes her West End stage debut in 9 to 5 at the end of this month. Mainly known for her singing and not for her acting (her first acting credit was Diana Smith in The Hot Potato in 2011), many theatre fans are wondering whether she can pull this off. So, this week, we are casting the spotlight on Louise Redknapp’s life and career to prove why we believe she has what it takes to be a London theatre star.
Louise Redknapp’s humble beginnings
The English singer, known professionally as just Louise, was born as Louise Elizabeth Nurding on 4 November 1974 in Lewisham, London. Her parents were not particularly artistic – her father was a construction worker while her mother was an employee at Gatwick Airport. But they must have recognised Louise’s talent when, at 11 years old, she enrolled in the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts in London, where she ended up meeting her future Eternal bandmate Kéllé Bryan on the first day of school.
One fateful night at the prime age of 16, Louise was out dancing when she happened to meet Denis Ingoldsby, a music producer who was working on forming a girlband at the time. Louise introduced him to her friend, Kéllé Bryan, and the R&B band Eternal was eventually formed in 1992 with the Bennett sisters Easther and Vernie. Their debut single ‘Stay’ was an instant hit, reaching number four on the UK charts, while their debut album, Always and Forever, became the first-ever album by an all-female group to sell over a million copies in the UK. Louise left Eternal in 1995 to pursue a solo career after rumours sparked that a US radio station dedicated to black music refused to promote a racially mixed girlband.
As a solo artist, Louise saw near instant success with her debut album, Naked. The record's lead single, 'Light of My Life,' reached number eight in the UK Top 10 and her third single 'Naked' peaked at number five, solidifying her success. Following Naked, Louise's sophomore album, Woman in Me, with its lead single 'Arms Around The World' helped continue her reign as a national superstar, and she continued to dominate the charts for years until she became pregnant with her son Charley, whom she had with her then-husband, football player Jamie Redknapp.
Louise is capable of commanding a large audience
Stage fright is definitely not in Louise's vocabulary. In addition to performing concerts all throughout her singing career, Louise has also presented a number of television shows, including This Morning, SMTV Live, CD:UK, The Clothes Show, and The Truth About Size Zero – a controversial 2007 documentary on ITV.
After a brief hiatus to focus on her family, Louise made a comeback to the world stage when she appeared on the 14th series of Strictly Come Dancing in 2016. With her unwavering talent, she made it all the way to the show's finals with her dance partner, Kevin Clifton. Following her divorce with Jamie Redknapp, which she vehemently denies was due to the 'Strictly Come Dancing curse,' Louise made her radio debut as a guest presenter for two evening Heart radio shows in April 2018. While 9 to 5 The Musical marks her first time as an onstage actress, her experience in other ventures proves she can handle anything in show business.
Why Louise is perfect for the role of Violet
Immediately in 9 to 5 The Musical, Violet takes newcomer Judy Bernly under her wing, showing her how to survive office life. The casting for both Violet and Judy makes sense as Louise Redknapp knows the biz as an established singer while Amber Davies, a relatively new starlet, only just recently won the third season of Love Island in 2017. It, therefore, makes sense for Louise to show Amber 'how it's done' in the musical.
9 to 5 tickets among the hottest in London's West End!
9 to 5: The Musical premieres on 28 January 2019 at the Savoy Theatre and is booking until 31 August 2019. Be sure to book your tickets early to catch the long-awaited, proper run of Dolly Parton's 9 to 5 musical.
Purchase your 9 to 5 London tickets.
Update (11 January 2019): Due to an unexpected injury that has left Louise with a cut on her chin and a fractured risk, the Eternal singer has been forced to delay her debut as Violet in 9 to 5. She is expected to return to the show following her two-month recovery.