Ballwillan Drama Group has the perfect Christmas present

LOOKING for that perfect Christmas Present this year?

Well, look no further, Ballywillan Drama Group has the answer!

For two weeks this January Ballywillan brings one of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s major musicals to Northern Ireland and the Riverside Theatre in Coleraine for the very first time.

Never before released to an amateur company Whistle Down The Wind comes direct to these shores from its last West End run and national tour which starred Jonathan Ansell.

The hugely successful family musical has toured the world and entertained hundreds of thousands of people with its haunting story of a sixteen year old Louisiana girl who believes she has found Jesus hiding in the family barn. Songs from this majestic show are universally known – “When Children Rule the World”, “Whistle Down The Wind” and, of course, “No Matter What”, made famous by Boyzone, which went platinum and a No.1 hit in eighteen countries, becoming the most successful song from a musical in history.

The musical score is accepted as being Lloyd Webber’s best score since his Phantom of the Opera.

Complementing this haunting music are the lyrics of Jim Steinman, well known the world over for his work with Meatloaf, Bonnie Tyler, Cher and Celine Dion to name but a few. The combination of Steinman’s words with Lloyd Webber’s music makes this a show that will appeal to everyone, young and not-so-young!

Bringing this spectacular show to the Riverside has presented Ballywillan with many challenges. The script and orchestral score received from The Really Useful Group were exactly as the West End professional production. Most new shows, prior to being released to the amateur market, are tailored for their abilities and circumstances thus making it easier for them to perform – but not in this case! Once their Diamond Jubilee production of The Sound of Music finished, Director and Producer, Brian Logan and Musical Director, Eric Boyd, set to work planning and designing the show which includes an electrifying motorcycle ride, an oncoming train and a burning barn.

It is an immense undertaking, working with Lloyd Webber’s production company, The Really Useful Group, ensuring everything meets their exacting standards and giving Riverside audiences a real taste of West-End Theatre right here on their doorstep.

A principal cast of 15, an adult ensemble of 40 and two children’s troupes of 25 each make this the biggest show in the group’s history. The two children’s troupes alternate performances as it is not allowed that children perform over such a long performance run.

So if you are fed up of giving the same old gifts and want to find something special that will be remembered forever, look no further! Your search is over.

Whistle Down The Wind is now booking at the Riverside Theatre on 028 70 123 123 or book on-line at www.riversidetheatre.org.uk. The musical runs from Friday 18 January to Saturday 2 February 2013 with evening and matinee performances.