Largest Staging of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats Will Feature 3,000 Performers
By Andrew Gans
Stagecoach Theatre Arts — by special arrangement with The Really Useful Group Ltd. — will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a record-breaking performance of the award-winning musical Cats March 24 at the U.K.'s National Indoor Arena, Birmingham.
Thousands of performers, ages 7-18, from Stagecoach schools nationally and internationally will take part in the event.
The main cast will comprise 50 specially selected dancers and 500 singers in a grand choir from 13 Stagecoach schools. An additional 2,500 young performers from 47 schools throughout the U.K., Malta, Germany and Ireland have been allocated a selection of the Cats score "to bring their own individual creative dances to life within the vast arena," according to press notes. These students will be supported by a virtual choir of international students from Stagecoach schools in Canada, Germany, Gibraltar, Ireland, South Africa, Spain and the U.S., visible on large screens.
The orchestra will be led by conductor Paul Leddington Wright.
In a statement composer Andrew Lloyd Weber said, "I’m absolutely thrilled that so many young people will be able to take part in this very special performance of Cats. Happy 25th Birthday Stagecoach and thank you for giving your students the opportunity to perform the show in such a spectacular way."
Veronica Bennetts, Director of Education for Stagecoach, added, "We are honoured to have been allowed to perform Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical and are hugely excited to celebrate our quarter-century anniversary in this way. To bring together so many students from across the UK, and globally, has truly been team work on a vast scale and the final outcome will be something to remember forever. T.S. Eliot’s poetry combined with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s music has been inspirational and the students have been in their element in rehearsals singing, dancing and acting. As it has not been feasible for many of our international schools to physically be at the performance they have submitted clips which are being made into a video collage to be played at the live event."
Based on T.S Eliot's Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, with award-winning music composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Cats was originally directed by Trevor Nunn and broke records in the West End and on Broadway.
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