A furry special event will be happening at Belfast’s SSE Arena on Saturday August 6 when over 150 children and teenagers from across Northern Ireland take to the stage for a unique youth production of the iconic West End musical, CATS.
Ni4kids caught up with the show’s director Peter Corry to find out more...
It’s not often that our aspiring stars get to perform on the same stage that has hosted huge names including Beyoncé and One Direction but that’s exactly what ‘s ahead for the talented young singers and dancers taking part in one of the most ambitious youth versions of the iconic show ever staged.
Peter, who has a wealth of experience performing on the West End and throughout the world, explained; ‘I’ve worked alongside the show’s Musical Director, Ashley Fulton and Choreographer, Fleur Mellor for the past two years now offering a summer course, Perform Boot Camp, to young performers who are looking to work hard, and play hard, at furthering their stage education. Our focus is very much on the performance side of musical theatre, dance, singing and acting but now, for the first time there will be a show at the end of the camp. I was approached by the SSE Arena about the possibility of putting on something which both I, and they, are very passionate about, which is youth production.
"In Northern Ireland there’s a real hunger for this kind of opportunity and a real interest in musical theatre. Cats is the perfect musical for a youth production because there are so many characters, offering more kids the chance to get involved and we were kindly granted special permission by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group to present the record-breaking show. After the auditions, we knew there would be no issue with having enough talent to fill the stage."
It’s a spectacular chance for those with big dreams of standing under the spotlights and children aged eight to 18 will be taking part. Teenage performers will be the cats, with the younger cast members aged 8 to twelve taking on the roles of kittens #supercute.
Peter added, ‘The great thing about our production is that usually, in the professional shows, it’s generally dancers who can sing very well, but we have both very strong dancers and singers. However what’s most important to us is the overall experience we offer. Many children may not necessarily want this to be their final career, but the key is to increase their confidence and self-belief by taking part. Whether you want to be a teacher or a singer, you need to be able to stand up in front of an audience and a course like this can really help with boosting a child’s self-esteem. Plus, it’s not every day that any of us get to stand on the same stage as some of the biggest stars in the world.’
Catch Cats at the SSE Arena on August 6. Tickets are available from the SSE Arena Box Office Tel: 028 9073 9074 or visit ssearenabelfast.com For more information about Perform Boot Camp and future performances find them on Facebook.com/performbootcamp
Photo caption Purr-fect partners: (L-R) Show director Peter Corry with dancer Eva-Rose McGall, 18-year-old Blathnaid McCaughley who will perform the show’s iconic song, Memory and Leanne Sheill, Marketing Executive at SSE Airtricity.