Pop superstar Kylie Minogue's surprise visit to Barnsley theatre group Cross the Sky to feature on Christmas Day TV show

Pop star Kylie Minogue gave a Barnsley theatre company a huge thrill when she surprised them with a visit to rehearsals for their next show, an encounter that will be shared with a national TV audience at Christmas.

Thursday, 5th December 2019, 9:37 am
Updated Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 4:40 pm
Kylie Minogue hugging superfan Simon Grainger during her surprise visit to Barnsley theatre group Cross the Sky

Kylie made the surprise visit to Cross The Sky, a theatre company for adults with learning disabilities and autism, and her ‘super fan’ musical director Simon.

The visit will be broadcast on Channel 4 this Christmas Day as part of Kylie’s Secret Night, a one-off show celebrating Kylie and her fans. The 90-minute programme is hosted by Alan Carr.

Cross The Sky caught the singer’s attention after they sent her a video of the group rehearsing her 2018 hit Dancing on Twitter as part of their vocal and music training.

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The star retweeted the video to her 2.8 million worldwide followers with an inspirational message encouraging the group to 'Keep up the great work guys❤️❤️❤️!'

Simon said: “What a wonderful surprise, we’re all still on Cloud Nine after Kylie’s visit. It meant so much to us all and was such a special afternoon.

“Having the opportunity to sing some of the group’s favourite Kylie songs with the lady herself was truly a dream come true and an afternoon we will treasure for the rest of our lives.”

Kylie Minogue sharing a laugh with Simon Grainger in Barnsley

The group’s show Up In The Attic is on stage at The Civic in Barnsley on February 12. Tickets: www.barnsleycivic.co.uk

Kylie said of her Channel 4 show: “This was such an incredible show. It made me laugh, it made me cry. It was like time stood still and I was able to hear some amazing fan stories, reminisce and really take stock of the journey we’ve been on together.

“All in all, a wonderful celebration, and a reminder of what a privilege it is to be able to connect with people over time and borders and to inspire me to do it all again!”

As well as developing key performing arts skills, Cross The Sky also write and perform original songs and theatre work.

Their new production, Up in the Attic, is inspired by personal experiences of autism. It tells the story of a man who goes on a journey of self-discovery and acceptance as he learns to let go of his childhood and to embrace his independent adult life.

The coming-of-age story incorporates Gothic horror and original songs developed through improvisation workshops exploring disability pride.

Cross The Sky is a project of Barnsley Civic who programme a year-round arts programme, The Civic offers educational and engagement activities with schools and local community groups.

Simon said: “The support of a global music icon has given Cross The Sky a huge boost. It’s an enormous validation of how anyone with a learning disability can achieve confidence, self-esteem and expression through creativity and the arts.

“We hope Kylie’s visit inspires audiences to come along and experience our new show in February, which promises to be powerful and uplifting.”

Kylie’s Secret Night is on Channel 4 on Christmas Day at 10.30pm. The UK television premiere of Kylie’s Golden Tour will follow at midnight

About Cross the Sky: www.barnsleycivic.co.uk/resident-companies