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Pupils take to the stage for iconic show with help from Stagecoach

20 Jun 2017

Stagecoach North East helped bring drama to Excelsior Academy in Newcastle with sponsorship of £250 towards its production of the West End blockbuster Les Misérables.

The show, which was hailed a huge success over its two night run, boasted a cast of 45 pupils and the multi-talented production team brought the house down with their performances of the story of life and love in 19th Century France.

Lyndsey Anderson, Procurement and Funding Manager, Excelsior Academy, said: “We contacted local businesses to help assist the academy and allow some of most disadvantaged students have the amazing experience of performing Les Miserables. To put on such a show always entails costs but we also have the additional expense of requiring vocal coaching sessions and costumes – which 80 percent of our families simply cannot afford.
“Historically students whom have the opportunity to be a part of such an even often “turn a corner” in their own educational journey, they become more engaged in academy life and generally attainment levels rise because of this.”

The young cast – some of which had never set foot on a stage before – delivered stunning performances of the smash hit show which has played to 70 million people across the globe.

The massive stage set, multiple costume changes, relentless pacing and pressure it places on its young cast to act and sing their way through nearly three hours of intense plot, made their triumph all the more spectacular.

Musical director Michael Davison, said: “Les Misérables demonstrates that if you constantly have high expectations and stretch and challenge our pupils, and then just look at what they are capable of achieving.

“We have produced this in 14 weeks which is incredible. It’s worth every minute of it when you see what they delivered. They have produced something which is outstanding and astonishing which they can take with them into the rest of their lives.”

Craig Taylor, Excelsior Academy Executive Principal, said: “I had the great pleasure and privilege to see the magnificent production of Les Misérables. Like everyone else who was lucky enough to be there, I was absolutely blown away by the quality and professionalism of the performance.

 “The performing arts team are to be congratulated for having the courage and faith in the pupils to mount such an ambitious and challenging show – it really was outstanding. Our thanks go to sponsors Stagecoach North East for their donation towards the show.”

Mark Middleton, Marketing Manager, Stagecoach North East, said: “We were delighted to be able to help the young actors to take to the stage and put on a fantastic show. The Academy should be very proud of its achievement and well done to everyone involved.”