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WATCH: Aberdeen Youth Music Theatre’s two-year wait to pour cup of ambition is over

Pour yourself a cup of ambition, sit back and enjoy 9 To 5 The Musical, staged by Aberdeen Youth Music Theatre.
Pour yourself a cup of ambition, sit back and enjoy 9 To 5 The Musical, staged by Aberdeen Youth Music Theatre.

It’s a long time working from 9 To 5 – but it is even longer waiting two years to bring Dolly Parton’s hit musical to the stage.

But the pandemic-enforced pause is finally over for the talented crew at Aberdeen Youth Music Theatre (AYMT) who will pour a cup of ambition and bring the curtain up on the show at the Tivoli next week.

“We are two years late with 9 To 5, but it’s just a delight to actually be able to bring this show to the stage,” said Shirley McGill, director of AYMT.

“We were exactly one week from doing our get in, when everything shut down due to the pandemic. We were good to go, but literally just had to stop. So we are very excited to be back.”

Shirley is full of praise for the 45-strong cast – ranging in age from 16 to 21 – for bringing Dolly Parton’s show to life through these turbulent times, adding the two-year gap meant some cast changes from 2020.

AYMT cast ‘brilliant’ in bringing  musical 9 To 5  to the Tivoli stage

“I would say we are half the original cast and half are a new cast, so we just started afresh when we were allowed to go back in August,” she said.

“It’s been tricky but the cast have been brilliant. We’ve dealt with masks on, masks off, two metres apart, one metre apart, only being able to sing facing the front. We’ve dealt with all that and we’ve managed to come here with a show that’s ready and good to go.”

And quite a show it is too, with 9 To 5 offering a non-stop string of great songs from Dolly, based on the iconic 80s movie about three downtrodden women who take action against their sexist and egotistical boss.

AYMT’s cast for 9 To 5 includes Gracie Spencer, Hollie Cunningham, Ellie Yeats, Hannah Clark and Samuel Anderson.

“The music is so good, that was one of the things that attracted us to 9 To 5, and the script is very, very funny,” said Shirley.

“It’s a great company show… the company are never off the stage, with one big musical number after big musical number and it’s very uplifting.

“It’s a story about making things better, which is really what we all need right now. It’s just an uplifting, feel-good musical. People love it.”

Dolly Parton will make an appearance in AYMT’s 9 To 5

And the great lady herself, Dolly Parton, makes an appearance herself with a video message at the start and end of every performance.

A video message from Dolly Parton will play at every performance of 9 To 5 when AYMT take to the Tivoli stage.

As part of their “homework” for the show, the cast were encouraged to watch the original film, starring Dolly, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. It was quite an eye-opener for them, said Shirley.

“A lot of them had never experienced this way of the boss speaking to females and the jokes they made. We had to say to them ‘that was what it was actually like’ and they were horrified,” she said.

“We talked them through it and how things have changed for the better, so it is history for them.”

Shirley said the cast have thoroughly enjoyed rehearsals for the show, learning acting skills and theatre craft as they go, with many of them eyeing a move to drama school and a career on stage.

The talented cast of AYMT are reaching for the sky in 9 To 5.

Shout out to AYMT for setting star Amy Lennox on road to West End

AYMT has already created at least one glittering West End star in Amy Lennox, now playing Sally Bowles in an acclaimed production of Cabaret which is the hottest ticket in London’s Theatreland. After winning the coveted casting, Amy name-checked AYMT for helping her on her way to a stellar career.

Shirley said: “That was lovely. We had Amy in AYMT for a long time and we knew from a very young age that she was going to make it. We’re really proud of Amy and we do follow her progress.

“If any of us are in London we always go in and see her and she always comes to the stage door and tells us she still wears her AYMT hoodie.”

Amy Lennox is to star as Sally Bowles in an acclaimed West End production of Cabaret alongside star Fra Free.

Shirley hopes the cast of 9 To 5 will achieve their dreams too – starting with delighting audiences when the show runs at the Tivoli from Wednesday March 30 to Saturday April 2.

“The audience is going to just forget all about Covid and the horrible things that are going on in the world. They will just sit back and be blown away by some wonderful singing and dancing and they are going to laugh,” she said.

How to get tickets for AYMT’s 9 To 5 The Musical at the Tivoli

“They will come away saying ‘that was great’ after a few hours of just real fun.”

For more information and tickets for Aberdeen Youth Music Theatre’s 9 To 5 The Musical visit

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