STAGECOACH Colchester students FIRST to perform at prestigious London Theatre after 14-month lockdown


Stagecoach Performing Arts is delighted to announce its return to live performances at one of London’s most prestigious venues. Taking place on Sunday 30 May, 160 students and teachers from 11 schools across the country, will be the first to take to the stage at Shaftesbury Theatre, as families and loved ones will be invited to enjoy the live stream from their sofas.

This will be the first time that anyone has performed at the legendary London theatre venue in 14 months, and students at Stagecoach, the world’s leading network of extra-curricular performing arts schools for children, will be showcasing a variety of performances during the test event which hails the return of live theatre to stages across the UK. :

The event will take place having been granted the use of Society Of London Theatre & UK Theatre’s ‘See It Safely’ mark. The mark certifies that the theatre is complying with the latest Government and industry COVID-19 guidelines. All theatre staff are tested to ensure a safe working environment for performers, production crews and our audiences. Stagecoach staff and students will be tested where applicable, before they arrive at the Theatre. Enhanced cleaning means all surfaces are treated with Nordicchem Antimicrobial coating to reduce viral and bacterial contamination, a ventilation system uses fresh air which it replaces every eight minutes and sanitiser points are located throughout the building. This is to ensure everyone involved is taking precautions to make it not only a positive, exciting and creative experience, but a safe environment too.

The Shaftesbury Theatre is the largest independent theatre in the West End, and has been home to blockbuster musicals such as Hairspray, Memphis and most recently & Juliet.

The Stagecoach schools participating in the event include Putney, Dulwich, Henley and Marlow, Twickenham and Teddington, Fulham, Godalming, Chorleywood and Rickmansworth, Epsom, Buckingham and Colchester.

A virtual audience will be tuning in via Zoom to watch the students’ performances from Back to the Future, Bring it On! and even a song that was devised, arranged and brought to life over lockdown by Stagecoach Fulham’s students and principal.

Stagecoach Colchester dance teacher, Sarah Shepherd said, “It is so exciting to be taking a group of lucky students to perform in London so soon! We are calling ourselves ‘Team Courage’ because they have all been so brave over the past year and together we are taking this great leap forwards to get back to performing. As their teacher, I cannot wait to see their faces light back up, along with the stage!”

One of the students’ parents said, “We are so grateful for all the opportunities our children get at Stagecoach Colchester, and this opportunity feels particularly special. To have the chance of performing in a London theatre just as they start to reopen, after such a challenging year, is just magical.

Another parent said, “We can’t wait to see them all expressing themselves again in the way they love the most: being on stage with their brilliant Stagecoach family!”

Stagecoach Performing Arts recently reported a surge in new student enrolments (40%) as it reopens its schools across the UK and welcomes students back for the Summer term. Stagecoach prides itself on building Creative Courage For Life® among students, which is more important than ever as children’s mental health, confidence and development have been impacted by the lockdown. Performing arts’ powerful impact on improving children’s mental health, along with the need for social interaction, a creative outlet and a happy and positive environment where children can be themselves and make friends, have been key contributors to this spike in enquiries and enrolments.

Stagecoach is the UK’s largest network of performing arts schools, with more than 2,000 extra-curricular performing arts schools worldwide. Stagecoach aims to make a difference in its students’ lives by teaching Creative Courage for Life®, with many students going on to be professionals and world-renowned actors, singers and dancers. Early Stages classes are available for children aged four to six and Main Stages classes take place for six to 18-year-olds every weekend.

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