Belfast Telegraph

CATS take over at SSE Arena Belfast to launch youth production of iconic West End show

It's not often you get entertained in the foyer of the SSE Arena - but that's exactly what happened on Thursday night as hundreds of 'cats' took over to launch a special youth production this summer.

Children and teenagers from across Northern Ireland will take to the stage in August for a unique youth production of the iconic West End musical CATS.

After an extensive audition process more than 150 young people between the age of eight and 18 were chosen to take part in the production directed by Peter Corry.

The youth production is one of the most ambitious versions of this critically-acclaimed show to ever be staged. With director Corry saying it is among the largest casts currently staging the show in the world.

The SSE Arena will be in its new theatre-style format, which will turn it into an intimate venue for an audience of 2,000.

The young aspiring stars will get to perform on the same stage that has hosted huge names including Beyoncé and One Direction. 

The launch saw a special performance by 18-year-old Blathnaid McCaughley of one of the show's most iconic songs 'Memory' .

Peter Corry who has a wealth of experience in the musical theatre world explained how the show came about.

He said: “During a meeting with The SSE Arena earlier this year, it became obvious that between us, we could put together a summer project that would give young people in Northern Ireland a chance to achieve something special. Perform Boot Camp is all about offering young people the opportunity to enhance their performance skills while having an enjoyable and memorable experience at the same time. 

“And what could be more memorable than being part of this world-famous musical in this incredible venue? With SSE Airtricity’s support we are planning on putting together a huge production that both cast and audience will remember for a long, long time."

Perform Boot Camp has teamed up with SSE Airtricity to present the record-breaking show, having been granted special permission by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group.

Leanne Sheill, marketing executive at SSE Airtricity, said: “We are very proud to be involved in this initiative, bringing local youngsters from across Northern Ireland together and providing them with a venue like The SSE Arena, Belfast, to showcase their talents.

“I’m also delighted that SSE Airtricity’s very own award-winning company choir, the SSE Airs, will be opening the show. The choir is made up of a mix of voices from across the company, so hopefully they’ll have a little something for everyone in the audience."


The show will take place at The SSE Arena, Belfast on Saturday, August 6 with both a matinee and evening performance scheduled.

Tickets go on sale on Tuesday, May 17 at 9am from The SSE Arena Box Office and all Ticketmaster outlets. 

SSE Reward Customers will be able to access pre-sale tickets from Friday, May 13 at 9am.

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