Thursday 12th June 2008 by C. Freeman
Year 8 student Jessica Coull has danced in a show at a famous London theatre. Her Majesty's is usually the venue for the long-running musical Phantom of the Opera, but the Stagecoach organisation arranged for their students from all over the country put on performances. Jessica was one of 18 from the Kettering group who took part in a 1940s-inspired song and dance routine.
Jessica, who has wanted to be an actress since she was small, has been studying at Stagecoach for nearly three years. Each Saturday she has tuition from tutors in dance, drama and singing. She has already taken part in their local productions but it was the first time she had appeared on a top London stage. She said: 'We went in the dressing room used by the cast of the Phantom of the Opera. It was great seeing the other groups doing their routines, most of them were older than us and they were really good.'
Stagecoach said: 'Students representing Kettering, whose ages ranged from 9 to 14 years, rehearsed together for weeks beforehand on their own particular contribution. The piece the students performed was especially written for them by their own drama teacher, Mary Benzies. It told the story of a character, Archie Winfield, who remembers what it was like to be in London in 1943 aged 10 and his memories unfolded through drama, song and dance and portrayed events that led him to earn a medal for bravery. This was a fantastic experience for our students, treading the boards on such a famous stage. They all had a wonderful and very memorable day.'