Talented cast from Burnley theatre school set for masterclass with former student who has starred in top productions worldwide

The cast of 'Cats' as performed by Basics Theatre School. (Photo Andy Ford)
The cast of 'Cats' as performed by Basics Theatre School. (Photo Andy Ford)

Young performers at a Burnley theatre school, who are preparing to stage their own roof raising version of the classic sell-out musical 'Cats', are to receive a masterclass from a former student.

And there could perhaps be no-one better than Lee Greenaway to put the cast at Basics Junior Theatre School through their paces as, not only is 'Cats' his favourite musical of all time he has played the part of Skimbleshanks for the past seven years on world tour and cruise ships across the globe.

Former Basics Theatre School student Lee Greenaway is returning home to give a masterclass to young performers.

Former Basics Theatre School student Lee Greenaway is returning home to give a masterclass to young performers.

From performing in a 'Cats' tribute called Basically Entertaining 20 years ago to playing in the show at the Manchester Opera House Lee has lived and breathed the part and will be encouraging the cast to give it their all when they bring the show the Pendle Hippodrome Theatre next month.

Lee, who is coming up from London to hold the masterclass on Sunday, said: "The ethos of Basics is if you are going to do something, do it right to the best of your ability and beyond.

"My advice to these young people is to keep trusting that little part of you where you feel the most yourself. It doesn’t matter if it´s different or if it´s unusual, good…who ever wanted to be usual anyway.

"Dreams don´t just come true on their own but if you never forget that unique part of yourself and have faith it might just happen."

'Cats' is a set of musical numbers loosely draped over T S Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats.

Andrew Lloyd Webber turned it into a smash hit musical in the West End in 1981 and since then it has been presented in 30 countries, translated into 15 languages and seen by more than 73 million people worldwide.

The show's director is Richard Sanderson with choregraphy and associate direction by Helen Cheung with Andrew Mitchell providing the musical direction.

The theatre school's own special effects make-up team Kayla Holland, Daniella Burns, Jackie Dearn and Holly Caldwell have provided their services free of charge to create some stunning and intricate designs that make the characters seem very real.

Performances are nightly at 7.30pm with a Saturday matinee at 2pm. To book tickets go to basicsjuniortheatre.co.uk