Local theatre company Fermanagh Musical Theatre (FMT) are excited to be entertaining audiences once again as they bring their long-awaited production of the Dolly Parton show, ‘9 to 5 – The Musical’, to Enniskillen next week.

FMT is a non-profit musical theatre company founded in 2016 by a group of local young people with the aim to bring high-quality musical theatre experiences, opportunities and performances to the people of Fermanagh and the surrounding areas.

After a challenging number of years due to the pandemic, which resulted in FMT’s initial planned production of 9 to 5 – The Musical being cancelled in 2020, the theatre company are delighted to be bringing it to the Ardhowen stage next week, running from Wednesday, August 17 to Wednesday, August 24.

“It’s really exciting to finally be putting it on,” said the show’s Director, Rhys Hopkins, speaking to The Impartial Reporter this week.

“It kind of feels a bit surreal though, because this time especially it feels like it’s gone so quickly. The rehearsal process has just flown by.

“It’s scary, but it’s really exciting. The last time [2020], I was meant to direct the show but as a Co-Director. This time I wasn’t really planning on directing – I thought I’d just kind of fit in somewhere in the background!

“But then, last minute, I was like, ‘No, you know what, I’ll give it a go’,” he said, going on to acknowledge how the 9 to 5 cast and production team have been great to work with.

“That was definitely one of the main reasons why I was willing to have a go directing by myself, because the entire production team are all class.

“Moya [Sweeney] and Eoin [McCaffrey] are the musical directors and the Clodagh [Sweeney], and Áine [Leonard] the choreographers. Everyone is so supportive to each other and to me.

“It does feel like one cohesive thing, kind of like our brains have just merged into one to bring it together,” Rhys added.

Fermanagh Musical Theatre cast and production team in rehearsals for 9 To 5 The Musical.

Fermanagh Musical Theatre cast and production team in rehearsals for 9 To 5 The Musical.

9 to 5 – The Musical features a stellar cast of Nadia Stenson, Gráinne Kennedy, Niamh Carney, Amy Hughes and Odhrán Sweeney, accompanied by the ensemble including Laura Hughes, Aoibheann King, Dan Molloy, Aidan Simpson, April McGuigan, Ryan Moohan, Deborah Murphy, Rebecca Young, Eadie Fallis, Sophie McCaughey, Alison Lappin, Hannah Davis Kunze, Aoife Cleary and Georgia Mulligan.

With the musical debuting at the Ardhowen next Wednesday night, after months of preparation and weeks of rehearsals, the FMT team are looking forward to seeing the show come together on the stage.

“It’ll be cool when we get our set in because that lifts things as well. It’ll be very exciting,” added Rhys.

The smash-hit musical features a rip-roaring score by the Queen of Country herself, Dolly Parton, and tells the story of three workmates pushed to boiling point by their sexist and egotistical boss.

Concocting a plan to kidnap and turn the tables on their despicable supervisor, will the ladies manage to reform their office – or will events unravel when the Chief Executive Officer pays an unexpected visit?

Rhys went on to outline what audiences can expect from FMT’s production of the show.

Fermanagh Musical Theatre cast and production team in rehearsals for 9 To 5 The Musical.

Fermanagh Musical Theatre cast and production team in rehearsals for 9 To 5 The Musical.

“Definitely a lot of comedy – 9 to 5 is such a funny show,” he said, noting that he has previously performed in other FMT productions and 9 to 5 – The Musical is “definitely the funniest one so far”.

He added: “Also, I feel like it has this powerful message behind it as well. It’s kind of all about female empowerment, that’s at the centre of it.

“So it’s just a good mix, not too heavy, but also there’s a point behind it all,” Rhys told this newspaper.

Tickets are available now from the Ardhowen Theatre.