BUDDING young stars from Salisbury are taking to the stage in Britain’s largest ever performance of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats next month.

About 3,000 children aged from six to 18 will be involved in the epic production, including 43 young singers and dancers from Salisbury.

The youngsters are members of the part-time theatre school network Stagecoach, and will be celebrating the organisation’s 25th anniversary with a performance of the enduringly popular and world-renowned musical at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham on Sunday, March 24.

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.”

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 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 familiar score under the direction of world renowned conductor, Paul Leddington Wright.

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.”

Since Cats, based around the work of TS Eliot, received its world premiere in London in 1981, it has been seen by millions of people all over the world and translated into languages including German, Hungarian, Norwegian, Finnish, Dutch, Swedish, French, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, Korean and Mandarin.

For further information or to purchase tickets visit stagecoach.co.uk/cats or telephone 0844 5814962.