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Three thousand young performers, including 17 young singers and dancers from Retford and Worksop, took to the stage for Britain's largest ever performance of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats
Three thousand young performers, including 17 young singers and dancers from Retford and Worksop, took to the stage for Britain's largest ever performance of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats
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Young singers from Retford and Worksop took to the stage for Britain’s largest ever performance of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats.

Stagecoach Theatre Arts celebrated its 25th anniversary in style with an outstanding performance of the world-renowned musical at the NIA, Birmingham.

Jonathan and Charlotte, operatic duo of Britain’s Got Talent fame, opened the show with an emotional performance from their gold-selling album Together to a star-studded crowd including the likes of former Cats star Marti Webb.

Permission was given by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group for the extensive arena production, in which thousands of performers, aged 6-18 years, from Stagecoach schools nationally and internationally took part.

The main cast consisted of 50 specially selected dancers and 500 singers in a grand choir from 13 Stagecoach schools.

An additional 2,500 young performers from a further 47 schools throughout the UK, Malta, Germany and Ireland brought their own individual creative dances to life in a selection of the Cats score within the vast arena.

These students were supported by a virtual choir of international students from Stagecoach schools in Canada, Germany, Gibraltar, Ireland, South Africa, Spain and USA.

Charlotte Jaconelli said it was an honour to be part of such an amazing show.

“I always knew I wanted to be part of the performing arts world, and if it wasn’t for my incredible eleven years of training and experiences at Stagecoach, I don’t believe I’d be where I am now!” she said.

“I learnt so much from Stagecoach and I have so much to thank them for. Jonathan and I were incredibly honoured to have been involved in their 25th birthday celebrations.”

Since Cats received its world premiere in London in 1981, it 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 so proud of students who took part in our anniversary celebrations. It was a truly tremendous event and something that everyone involved will remember forever.”