Local theatre company Fermanagh Musical Theatre (FMT) recently announced that their production of 9 to 5 The Musical, which was due to be performed in August, has now been cancelled.

Speaking to The Impartial Reporter, a spokesperson on behalf of the FMT committee said: “We were incredibly disappointed to have to cancel our production of 9 to 5 but it couldn’t really be helped. Thankfully we hadn’t got too far down the line, we hadn’t even started rehearsals yet but we did get lots of amazing video auditions from people who clearly put a lot of time and effort into them. With absolutely no idea of a timeframe on the Covid-19 situation we thought there was a chance we could still put the show on, but now it seems it would be impossible to keep everyone safe with a large cast and large audience.”

With that being said, the spokesperson noted that the committee are still hopeful for the future of FMT. “We have always put our efforts into not only putting on a great show, but training the cast along the way. We aim to not just convince someone they are great at something, but to actually give them as much guidance on technique as possible so they can truly develop their skills as a performer. Many FMT cast members have gone on to study the arts and we like to think we’ve done something to help them on their journey.”

Post-lockdown, the FMT committee are keen to see some support for the arts locally, beyond the current offering of a grant if they don’t turn a profit: “This grant only helps us if our show makes a loss, but often time the profits made from one show are not enough to sustain the next as we grow as a company.”

Noting how even local theatre productions cost thousands, the spokesperson added: “Sometimes tens of thousands of pounds to put on and that’s with nobody on the production team or cast being paid.”

“We constantly find ourselves reaching out to the amazing small business owners within our community for props and support to keep our costs down. We believe that as a group which is run by volunteers, we should be supported by our local council and not have to rely on the generosity of others,” the spokesperson for the FMT committee concluded.