YOUNG performers from Wirral are among thousands taking part in the country's largest ever performance of Andrew Lloyd-Webber's classic Cats.
Stagecoach Theatre Arts is marking its 25th anniversary by staging what promises to be epic production of the world-renowned musical at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham on Sunday, March 24.
The group was given exclusive permission by Lord Lloyd-Webber's Really Useful Group for the extensive arena production, with thousands of performers from Stagecoach schools nationally and internationally taking part.
The main cast will comprise 50 specially selected dancers and 500 singers in a grand choir from 13 Stagecoach schools.
An additional 2500 young performers from a further 47 schools throughout the UK, 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.
These students will be supported by a virtual choir of international students from Stagecoach schools in Canada, Germany, Gibraltar, Ireland, South Africa, Spain and USA, visible on large screens.
An orchestra will play the famous score under the direction of world renowned conductor, Paul Leddington Wright.
Lord Lloyd Webber 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."
Cats received its world premiere in London in 1981 and has been seen by millions of people all over the world and translated into many languages including German, Hungarian, Norwegian, Finnish, Dutch, Swedish, French, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, Korean and Mandarin.
Veronica Bennetts, director of education for Stagecoach, said: "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."
Tickets or more details are from stagecoach.co.uk/cats or 0844 5814962.