Lancashire performing arts students to light up London stage in West End spectacular

After months of rehearsals, teenagers from Preston and Chorley will be taking their place in the limelight of a legendary West End stage.

By Catherine Musgrove
Friday, 19th November 2021, 4:55 am

Members of Stagecoach Chorley and Preston will be performing at the iconic Shaftesbury Theatre, for Stagecoach’s Showcase on Sunday.

They will be performing an eight-minute piece called "Good and Evil” which is based on a Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde concept, combining physical theatre, dance, and song.

After the 2020 show was postponed because of the pandemic, many of the students missed out on performing on the world famous stage - currently home to the Shakespeare musical Romeo and Juliet - but now they will get their chance.

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Students practice for their West End debuts

The students, aged 15 and over, will be joining others from 32 schools across the UK and for some, this will be their first time in two years on a stage, if not, ever.

The students have been rehearsing the piece since September, but the class was formed two years ago and has got together online all the way through lockdown.

Briony Tanner, senior marketing executive at Stagecoach, said: “We are so excited to be able to hold this incredible event at the Shaftesbury Theatre again.

"We are so proud of the students, parents and teachers and all of the schools involved, many of whom are travelling many miles to London to take part, and all of whom have been rehearsing relentlessly to put on a fabulous show. It is such a pleasure to welcome everyone back through the doors to celebrate their hard work at the end of what has been a busy, and sometimes tough year.”

Members of Stagecoach Chorley and Preston

Earlier in 2021, Stagecoach students were the first to perform at the legendary Shaftesbury theatre venue after 14 months. 160 students from 10 schools took part in the test event which hailed the return of live theatre to stages across the UK.

Stagecoach Performing Arts recently reported a 50 per cent surge in new student enrolments.

Bosses believe this may have been prompted by the effects of lockdown, as they claim performing arts has a powerful impact on improving children’s mental health, provides social interaction, a creative outlet and a happy and positive environment where children can be themselves and make friends.