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On Thursday 4th November, students from Wildcats Theatre school classes in Stamford, Oakham, Uppingham and Peterborough auditioned for their chance to perform on stage as part of the national West End Showstoppers competition.  Producer and west end actor, Darren Lord attended Stamford Arts Centre to watch the Wildcats perform routines from Wicked and Hairspray and told the group straight away that they had been successful. 
West End Showstoppers gives children a once in a lifetime chance to perform in the West End at the same venue where Phantom of the Opera is performed.  Wildcats found out they were successful in getting to the audition stage a few weeks back, and since then have practiced hard. Thursdays audition saw the culmination of this work, and 50 children aged 5-17 years took part in the audition, including Jessica Auciello, age 9 from Rhyall and Annabel Otterburn, age 9 from Uffington who took solo singing parts in the performance of 'Wicked'.  Sophie Blackburn, age 12 from Hambleton also sang a solo part in a Hairspray song.  All the other children, including some as young as 5 took really important roles as chorus and dancers.
Darren Lord, the Director of Showstoppers watched the performances and told the children there and then that he wanted them in the show.  He loved their performances and really felt their talent and excitement in Musical Theatre showed through.  He answered questions from the children about his life in theatre and then he asked them to put together 4 musical theatre pieces for performance in Her Majesty's Theatre on 30th January 2011.
Caz Dolby, Director of Wildcats UK said 'This is an amazing opportunity for Wildcats, and I know how excited the children are about performing in the West End.    The routines for the audition showcased what Wildcats is all about - building confidence, developing skills and technique and having fun, and now they can take these skills and show them off in a once in a lifetime opportunity'
Wildcats own Musical Theatre Teacher, Kelly-Ann Soper has appeared twice in the West End Showstoppers performance, once as part of a dance school in 2002, and then later as a Principal dancer and singer in 2006.  This auditions success sees Kelly Ann going from group performer to principal cast, through to  group teacher. 
The Wildcats now need to raise as much sponsorship as they can in order to ensure every single person in the group can attend the event.  As well as financial support they are also looking for other help including raffle prizes and in kind donations such as printing and design etc.  Please contact Caz on 07725 915333 if you can help.  Below is also a downloadable poster to help in the search for sponsors.
Wildcats have over 160 students in Peterborough, Stamford, Oakham and Uppingham. 

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