West End star Peter Corry looks forward to bringing his festive show Music Box back to the Waterfront stage

Strandtown Primary School are one of the choirs that will be performing at this year's Music Box
Strandtown Primary School are one of the choirs that will be performing at this year's Music Box

Filled with plenty of song and dance, and lots of laughs, the Music Box at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast is a festive treat for all the family.

The brainchild of West End star Peter Corry, the Music Box is now in its ninth year, bringing festive joy to thousands of people each Christmas.

“The show is established now but nine years ago it was just an idea I had for Christmas in Northern Ireland,” explained Peter when he spoke to Guide reporter Julie-Ann Spence.

“It has been in three venues now and it is different in each venue.

“It started off at the Folk and Transport Museum for two years, and the atmosphere there was magical.

“Then we moved to Theatre at the Mill. We had 14 shows there and it sold out completely but it was a long run and a lot of work for the cast.

Strandtown Primary School are one of the choirs that will be performing at this year's Music Box

Strandtown Primary School are one of the choirs that will be performing at this year's Music Box

“This will be out fifth year in the Waterfront Hall and next year we will be celebrating the show’s tenth anniversary.”

A lot of hard work goes into the show, with preparations starting in March, when Peter begins to think of the special guests he would like to invite along and which schools should be involved.

“The schools start rehearsing in September and in November it is full steam ahead,” explained Peter.

“Rehearsals are going very well and the show continually evolves and changes.”

“It is a West End quality show that you can sit back and enjoy. It is really a variety show and people leave with a smile on their face.

“Every year people tell me ‘now I’ve been to Music Box it feels like Christmas.”

This year Peter will be joined by special guests Pamela Ballentine, American theatre star David Michael Johnson, and the amazing local classical crossover pianist, Ruth McGinley.

“I am delighted with the special guests this year,” he revealed. “Pamela has such a positive energy about Northern Ireland and she is someone I always knew I wanted to bring into the show.

“David Michael Johnson and I worked together on a show in the Royal Albert Hall and he has got a great personality. He is a real breath of fresh air.

“Ruth McGinley is from the North Coast originally and she is a fantastic pianist. She brings a touch of class to the show.”

As well as the special guests and a cast of talented local performers, Peter will also be welcoming young people from all over Northern Ireland to sing at this year’s how.

Pupils from Belfast School of Performing Arts Belfast South, BSPA Belfast AM and Mossley Primary School will be performing on the Thursday evening, BSPA Belfast PM and Strandtown Primary School will take to the stage on Friday evening, BSPA will be joining the cast at the Saturday matinee, along with St Patrick’s Primary School, Drumgreenagh, and BSPA students from Ballymena and Bangor, as well as the choir from Greenisland Primary School will sing on the Friday evening,

“We have had secondary schools performing in the past but I have taken up the role of Artistic Director of the Belfast School of Performing Arts, which has over 500 pupils from all over Northern Ireland. So I decided to have them along to perform this year, as well as primary school choirs.

“The adult cast are rehearsing away and the rest of my team are terrific about helping to knit the whole thing together.”

The cast will enchant you with this delightful festive selection box of music gems past, present, traditional and contemporary.

This heart-warming festive spectacular for all the family truly captures the magic and spirit of Christmas,

For further information or to book tickets contact the Waterfront Hall Box Office on 028 9033 4455 or log onto www.waterfront.co.uk.