Thinking of trying Stagecoach Theatre School

(70 Posts)
mumsnutty Fri 25-Mar-11 21:47:27

I'm not a pushy mother but have a rather energetic 4 yo DD who loves dancing and singing. Googled Stagecoach theatre school and saw some mixed feedback from MN a few years ago.

Does anyone have any recent feedback before I part with my cash?

Can you stay and watch initially?

Thanks for your helpsmile

Ant123 Mon 01-Sep-14 21:56:17

I would be very careful about using Stagecoach. I worked for a lovely school as a singing teacher for over 12 years. It came under new management. Unfortunately I was not paid at all for an entire terms work as the owner went bankrupt. Each franchise owner pays to use the Stagecoach name. Stagecoach are happy to take the money with very little quality control or help for owners and staff

Mrsrobertduvall Thu 21-Mar-13 11:58:26

Dd went to something like Stagecoach from7-14 every Saturday morning and it got progressively worse. Huge staff turnover, and no productions..just showcases which were embarrassingly awful...we still have the dvds.

Luckily a friend set up her own drama/singing Saturday thing, with two professional singers/actors. It's fantastic...dynamic, two good shows a year and a fantastic group of friends for dd to hang out with.

cory Wed 06-Mar-13 09:37:27

Rockinhippy, I would say that being inclusive is not necessarily an obstacle to quality. Dd's youth theatre is totally inclusive and takes children with learning difficulties and physical disabilities as well as with NT children with a wide range of abilities, but still gets very good results. Everybody gets a part in their shows, they tend to get very good reviews in the local press and have recently won regional awards for the quality of their acting. Some of their children go on to stage school or the professional stage. Dd has learn a lot from them.

ElizaFyfe Sun 03-Mar-13 19:07:41

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

rockinhippy Mon 25-Feb-13 13:09:33

I second the poster who said that though great fun, it's a franchise business, geared to make money & not really a substitute for a proper stage school training, though of course that can vary a bit with your area, down to who owns & runs it, but having tried both Stagecoach which was fun & entertaining, but quite expensive, she didn't really learn much, nor do much in the way of shows, which she loves to do -

My now DD goes to another local small independent one, unlike Stagecoach, they don't just take anyone, they have a long waiting list & vet applicants by aptitude - DD was offered a place after she attended a weeks summer school - (they don't vet for that as its more about fun) she's been going a couple of years now & it is miles better all round, far more professional & they get involved in local festivals & stage performances too - & I was surprised its about half the price of our local Stagecoach

raspberryroop Mon 25-Feb-13 12:57:47

two of mine go - Ds2 as he is interested and good - DD1 as she is a 'have a goer ' but has dyspraxia and finds the dancing hard. However I have been blown away by increase in confidence in both and have been impressed with the inclusive approach. It is quit expensive compared to voluntarily run stuff but for me having 2 of them do 3 hours in one place is time-wise/travel worth it and we have avoided a lot of the 'favoritism' which seamed to take part in the local am dram run group.

cory Tue 19-Feb-13 11:27:05

I have found it makes sense to ask around locally as Stagecoach groups can vary widely and are expensive at the best of times.

Doing this, we were able to find a small youth theatre who were considerably more affordable but who have done dd very well over the years.

I think it does vary from franchise to franchise. Ours has started running a lot of one off free workshops with external choreographers etc which ds2 seems to enjoy. (Limited numbers you just have to get your name down quick). There are two styles of jazz shoes for sale at ours, the thin ones and then some which are more like a trainer & more expensive. When we joined we were told we didn't have to buy stagecoach branded gear - black tracky bottoms and a plain black or yellow t-shirt were fine. The only time I've been told to buy something in 7 years was a regular stagecoach t-shirt for performance group ( and we've had some freebies in our time).

Ds1 isn't in stagecoach agency btw - I think it's a bit expensive, and if we were going down that route there are other agents i'd prefer, but we still get told about the auditions (usually by the school principal). For theatre auditions you don't usually need an agent anyway (you do more often for film).

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 18-Feb-13 21:07:23

I have to admit that gladrags was not our finest moment and I decided to do no more of those after that. Sometimes things work - sometimes they don't.

Copthallresident Mon 18-Feb-13 21:05:31

Congratulations to little quint smile

Ds1 loves drama, and has "stage confidence", he was selected to represent his school at a public speaking competition, and also got the role of MacBeth at a borough school production (nods to Copthall, which is why I think he got his offer at Emanuel wink as he was very excited about that on the day of his interview).

It is definitely a very middle class area, and lots of parents send their kids to stage coach for confidence building.

Copthallresident Mon 18-Feb-13 21:01:24

Sorry, to clarify DD did Stagecoach.

And part of the reason it became less stimulating was that Stagecoach Head Office decided to impose the productions, so that instead of well known musicals, they were performing poorly written "down with the kids" supposedly edgy stuff which missed the mark, and the kids and the teachers thought were rubbish.

Copthallresident Mon 18-Feb-13 20:57:37

DD did it for 10 years, when she started the franchisee was fantastic, looked like a bag lady but recruited excellent teachers and really developed exciting productions, chances to appear in West End showcases etc. She also allowed in talented youngsters on scholarships which made for a diverse and stimulating student body. Quite a few went on to the Brit School. DD had auditions, and got to grade 7 with Lamda. DD was having problems with some difficult characters at school and at Stagecoach she could relax . She also had private singing lessons with the teacher beforehand.

A new franchisee took over, supposedly a professional actress but I reckon it can only have been the blonde bimbo in farce, she was a bit wet and definitely in it only for the middle class money. It just became somewhere DD hung out with friends. However without a doubt her success at Stagecoach fed into her success in school drama.

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 18-Feb-13 20:55:22

I do get cross when I hear people not followingvthecrules as they are there for a reason and it impacts on those of us who do our utmost tonprovide a good service.

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 18-Feb-13 20:53:04

I am not involved with head office. I am principal of a local school and therefore know the rules I have to adhere to.

If someone isn't following the rules then they should be reported

I have occasionally in an emergency ran with larger classes (staff illness so had to combine two age groups) but then made sure I was around to help too.

x post.

There were no written board where prices were visible. But they were on the order form, which I dont have a copy of. They did not have my older sons size, but I bought the shoes for my 7 year old cash after the first day.

It is totally bizarre. You have refuted absolutely every single part of my post telling me it is untrue. confused

I must have Alzheimers.

But if you are in some way involved with head office, you might want to audit how the various branches are run, and the prices they quote.

And also the practice of offering trial sessions, then back tracking, and then phoning to get deposits paid after a child has decided to not take up the classes after all. Because whether the price for a deposit was £70 or £75, and the price for shoes £25 or £18 officially, is the point not rather the poor customer service and experience of Stagecoach?

(Which you are not really helping - a good customer service manager would try refute the situation and say something like "oh my goodness me what poor service you have had, let me assure you that this is not the way it should be" - or something to that effect)

orangeandlemons Mon 18-Feb-13 20:47:53

My 6 year old ds ended up with a bloody noise at stagecoach. The teacherleft the room. There were definitely more than 20 kids there. A fight broke out between the older ones, and one of them thumped ds.

I removed him immediately and demanded and got a full refund.

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 18-Feb-13 20:46:24

No (though it is possible the 10 mins seemed longer to your ds

It is very worrying what you were told about prices etc. the principal could possibly have got into trouble if head office found out.

So, what are you saying?

That I am for some strange reason lying about snack times?

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 18-Feb-13 20:44:38

You can get jazz trainers which are more expensive (but not really suitable for under 9's

Jazz shoes as I ssud before are £18 (used to be £16 but went up last year)

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 18-Feb-13 20:43:22

They all have the same rules and prices set bybhead Ofice. Break time is a strict 10 mins so you get 3 55 minute classes.

It was most definitely Stagecoach.

Maybe they are not all run in the same way? My kids were asked to bring a snack for snack time. There were three sections, singing, acting and dancing. One break for snacks.

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 18-Feb-13 20:41:28

Also the prices don't add up as the 2nd sibling gets 50% discount and 4-7 year olds are also half the price as hey do hdlf the amount of time.

Sorry, my mistake, jazz shoes - you can tell I only went twice!

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