FERMANAGH Musical Theatre (FMT) recently announced the cast of its upcoming musical, ‘Curtains’, as the local theatre company plans for its first live post-lockdown production in August.

After a difficult year for all theatre companies due to the pandemic, Moya Sweeney, musical director for FMT’s production of ‘Curtains’, is very positive that the show will go on, whether it be performed to a limited capacity audience at the Ardhowen or livestreamed from the theatre to at-home audiences.

“From last year, with everything cancelled we were really hopeful that we’d be able to do something this year, even if it was a livestream,” said Moya, speaking to The Impartial Reporter.

“We want to get something out there. I think everyone has been missing theatre and have been missing live performances, whether it’s music or drama, so we really want to get something out,” she said, noting that FMT are planning to show ‘Curtains’ in August, in accordance with whatever Covid regulations and guidelines are in place at the time.

“If we’re allowed limited capacity in the Ardhowen, then we’ll 100 per cent be going with that there, getting in whatever numbers we’re allowed,” added Moya.

She went on to explain that the theatre company also has the rights to stream the show for five nights.

“We’ll hopefully be able to do something, whether it’s in person or livestreamed. We’re just going to go with whatever life throws at us, I suppose,” she said.

Talking about the musical, Moya explained that it is a “light-hearted murder-mystery”.

“It’s a show within a show, in that the whole storyline is that the production company in the story are putting on a show, and on opening night one of the leading cast members is murdered.

“A Boston detective is brought in to solve the murder, and everyone in the cast is a suspect,” she said, going on to note that every member of the cast plays an important role in the storyline.

“There’s not really a main character; everybody is really important, in that everybody is a suspect for this murder that’s happened. It’s really fun.”

Socially distanced

Following socially distanced auditions, the cast has now been chosen. Talking about the audition process and its alternative format, Moya said: “We did auditions, all online, which was a really strange experience.

“Usually we would be in a hall somewhere, and people would be coming in from say noon to 5pm.

“You’d be having your dance auditions, your acting, and then your singing.

“Everybody would be there all day, whereas now it was just sending in your song of choice and then your acting piece, and learning a dance that our choreographer Aimee had put together and sending in a video of that.

“So it was a bit easier for people to get auditions in. Everything was all online for the auditions process, but fingers crossed for rehearsals. Maybe closer to the time we’ll get a bit of in-person action,” said Moya.

FMT is a community theatre company delivering outstanding musical theatre to audiences across Fermanagh and beyond.

The committee for the theatre company comprises Chairperson Nadia Stenson; Vice-Chair, Aine Leonard; Treasurer, Grainne Kennedy; Secretary, Eibhlinn Fee; PRO, Rhys Hopkins; and Welfare, Niamh Carney.

The production team for ‘Curtains’ includes Director Sam McElgunn; Musical Director, Moya Sweeney; and Choreographer, Aimee Drumm.

“We were talking amongst ourselves on the production team, and I was saying that the first time that I hear a round of applause, I think I’ll cry,” said Moya.

“We’ve just gone so long without having a live audience or people laughing or clapping or cheering, I think it’ll be an amazing experience to hear that again.

“Even if it’s only 25 people, I think it’ll be amazing,” she told this newspaper.