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Kirkwall Operatic Society in association with Shetland Arts presents an amateur production by arrangement with The Really Useful Group...

CATS Image3

11 – 13 July 2014 @ The Garrison Theatre, Lerwick Music by Andrew Lloyd Weber. Based on 'Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats' by T.S. Eliot

Shetland Arts and Kirkwall Amateur Operatic Society (KAOS) are happy to confirm that, for the first time in its near 90 year history, KAOS is touring its 2014 Orkney sell-out show of CATS and will be performing in Shetland from 11 – 13 July, with tickets on sale this Friday, 25 April, at 10am via Shetland Box Office.

The show’s producer, Dennis Gowland, said: “Shetland was the obvious choice as there are already many successful sporting and cultural links as well as family links within some of the cast. The Society contacted Shetland Arts who have been extraordinarily helpful and supportive from the outset and have made what was initially an idea into a real event.”

CATS Image2 - Credit Leona Allan

CATS in Orkney. Photo by Leona Allan.

This Andrew Lloyd Webber musical is one of the most successful musicals ever written and it is very unusual for the rights of the full show to be granted to an adult amateur group in the UK.

The show has had almost continuous performances in the West End, Broadway and by touring professional companies, in major world cities, since its debut in 1981 - this makes it one of the highest profile shows ever to be put on in the Northern Isles and it is fitting that a well-established society which has a long history of community participation in Orkney is seeking to share this with friends and neighbours in Shetland.

64 people will be making the trip north in July: a cast of 50 plus production team and helpers. Most of the cast were in the February production in Orkney but there are some new recruits who will be making their debuts on the tour.

Director of the tour is Lesley MacDonald, who directed the Orkney show, with choreography by Joanne Davies and original musical direction by Glenys Hughes. The Musical Director for the tour is Elaine Bain. Producer is Dennis Gowland. KAOS President is Sandra Shearer.

Sandra Shearer, President of KAOS said: “As an amateur company we are thrilled to take the show CATS to Shetland and are looking forward to our first tour and meeting old friends and relations and of course making new friends! Roll on July!”

CATS Image1 - Credit Leona Allan

CATS in Orkney. Photo by Leona Allan.

Director Lesley MacDonald said: "I’m absolutely delighted to be taking CATS to Shetland. I was overwhelmed with the response we received in Orkney so when the opportunity to go north presented itself I simply had to go for it. The cast are really excited as we head back into rehearsals next week. The enthusiasm and support from Shetland Arts has been fantastic and I’m really looking forward to working closely with them over the next few months.”

Producer Dennis Gowland said: “This tour is a first for KAOS and we are so excited to be working with Shetland Arts to bring our production of CATS to Shetland. We have already heard of requests for tickets, even in advance of the tickets going on sale on Friday 25 April at 10am. CATS is a non-stop singing and dancing spectacular and with a cast age range of 9 – 72 is a shop window on what a small community can achieve.”

John Haswell, Drama Development Officer at Shetland Arts said: “I am absolutely delighted that this production of CATS is coming to the Garrison Theatre. It has been a while since there has been a full blown musical production in Shetland, particularly such an ambitious show as this. To be able to present a show of this size is a considerable achievement and a great deal of work has been done both in Orkney and Shetland to make it happen. The reputation of Kirkwall Amateur Operatic Society precedes their visit and I know the company will present a very special show for Shetland audiences.”

Tickets go on sale on Friday 25 April at 10am. Customers can book via Shetland Box Office in person at Mareel and/or Islesburgh Community Centre, over the phone on 01595 745 555, or online at and/or

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