TALENTED schoolchildren are preparing to take on one of their biggest challenges ever as they perform one of the greatest musicals of all time.

More than 120 children at Helsby High School will be donning whiskers, tails and furry paws as they become one of the first UK schools to perform Cats.

Rehearsals are well under way for the school’s production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, which will see children from Years 7-13 entertain packed audiences next week.

Teachers and pupils are working around the clock on the show, spending hours experimenting to transform the children into cats using make-up and making special cast masks, which will be worn by the younger actors.

With less than a week before the opening performance on Wednesday, the 120-strong cast and orchestra are rehearsing non-stop to make sure the musical is one of the best productions the school has ever seen.

Head girl Laura Pegler, from Norley, who has a starring role as Mungojerry in the musical, said: “Dancing and singing at the same time is so tiring but so much fun, I didn’t realise I had the endurance.”

Cats will be performed at Helsby High School from Wednesday, February 27, to Friday, March 1.