Youngsters are getting ready to set a new Guinness World Record for the largest simultaneous performance of a show to mark their 30th anniversary.
Members of Stagecoach Performing Arts Preston, which rehearse at Longton Primary School on Sundays, are teaming up with the international franchise network to perform Beauty and the Beast on July 1.
Almost 200 Stagecoach schools across the UK, Canada and Germany will take part in this exclusive performance, championed and orchestrated by the Stagecoach events team.
This one-of-a-kind performance is set to break the world record of the most simultaneous performances of one show, with upwards of 6,500 children being involved. This is a record set and achieved by themselves, 10 years previously, as in 2008, Stagecoach organised the largest simultaneous performance of one show for its 20th anniversary, achieving 66 performances of Glad Rags across the UK, Ireland and Germany. So far, more than double the number of schools have signed up to join the festivities and this is set to increase as the network edges closer to the momentous performance, later this year.
Stagecoach Preston is also hosting a week of summer holiday workshops, open to everyone, with the theme of This Is The Greatest Show, inspired by The Greatest Showman, for age seven to 18 year olds and Peter Pan for children under six.
Students are also returning to performing at Euro Disney in Paris next summer, after such a successful trip in July 2016.
Kate Parkinson, principal at Stagecoach Preston, says: “We have so much going on this year to celebrate Stagecoaches 30th anniversary. It’s wonderful to be able to give our students such fantastic performance opportunities.
“Excitement is growing as the talented young students prepare to help set a new Guinness World Record.
Each week 90 students attend the classes at Longton Primary School to learn the performing arts and gain creative courage for life.
Kate adds: “The students love performing each term for audiences; most recently they performed at the Preston Guildhall in Schools Gotta Sing, and at Harrogate Royal Hall performing Home Alone. They are just starting rehearsals for their prestigious summer shows.”
Oliver Taylor, age 13, has been attending Stagecoach Preston for three years.
He says: “Stagecoach has really built up my confidence and my skills in singing, acting and dancing.
“It has also given me so many opportunities. I went to Euro Disney two years ago and it was the best week of my life. We took part in a pre-parade and sang in front of the castle, with thousands of people watching. I felt like I was a celebrity.
“Being at Stagecoach has also helped me with my GCSE drama and it is helping me in the future, as I have more confidence to speak in public and do well at interviews to get a job. I would love a career in acting and being at Stagecoach will really help me as I am working with professional performing arts teachers.”
Stagecoach Performing Arts has also been shortlisted for the Brand Awareness category in the British Franchise Association (bfa) for the network’s commitment to their customers’ needs.
The winner of will be announced during the bfa’s annual Franchisor of the Year Awards in partnership with HSBC, at the ICC in Birmingham, on Thursday June 28.
Andy Knights, chief operating officer at Stagecoach, says: “We unlock children’s potential to accomplish on the stage of life by teaching the performing arts.
“As we approach our 30th anniversary, we have lots of fun activities planned worldwide to help us sustain our progress in brand awareness but also focus on rewarding and retaining students who enjoy our services.
“We’re delighted to have been recognised for our work and are very much looking forward to the awards evening,”