Regent High School

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'High School Musical'


A cast of 32 Regent High School and The UCL Academy students is adding the finishing touches to this year’s joint school production of Disney’s High School Musical On Stage!, which will be performed in the 446-seat professional Shaw Theatre this week.  The music and lyrics for High School Musical On Stage! are by Matthew Gerrard, Robbie Nevil, Ray and Greg Cham, Drew Seeley, Randy Petersen, Kevin Quinn, Andy Dodd, Adam Watts, Bryan Louiselle, David N. Lawrence, Faye Greenberg and Jamie Houston, and the book is by David Simpatico.  High School Musical On Stage! is based on the original Disney film of High School Musical.

The process of producing High School Musical On Stage! commenced with auditions held in the two schools, before the cast was brought together at UCL for the first of several weekend rehearsals.  Since September, the cast has worked non-stop to produce what will be a phenomenal evening’s entertainment.  They have mastered a number of dance routines, perfected their harmonies and have successfully embodied their characters.  The cast includes students from Years 7 and 8 at The UCL Academy, and from Years 7-10, 12 and 13 from Regent High School.

High School Musical On Stage! is set in the fictional East High School and tells the story of two American high school students from rival cliques: Troy Bolton, captain of the basketball team, and Gabriella Montez, who is pretty and academically gifted.  They both audition for the school musical, dividing the school and facing competition along the way from brother and sister duo Sharpay and Ryan Evans.  It’s a modern-day re-telling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet with singing and dancing a-plenty, with Troy and Gabriella played by Sixth Form students from Regent High School, and Sharpay and Ryan by Year 7 and 8 students from The UCL Academy.

Including catchy tunes like ‘Stick to the Status Quo’, ‘Start of Something New’, and ‘We’re All in This Together’, High School Musical On Stage! promises to repeat the outstanding success of last year’s joint production of Hairspray.

High School Musical On Stage! has been produced by undergraduate students from UCL, with the backing of the UCL Union (UCLU), UCLU Musical Theatre Society, UCLU Stage Crew Society, and including student musicians drawn from across the college.  The cast is drawn from The UCL Academy, located in Swiss Cottage and newly-opened in 2012, and Regent High School in Somers Town. 

The audience for High School Musical On Stage! will include the families and friends of the cast and creative team, staff and governors of UCLU, UCL and both schools, students from UCL and representatives of the three institutions’ partner organisations. 

The production will be performed at 7.00pm at the Shaw Theatre on Tuesday 11 and Thursday 13 February 2014.  There will be a matinee performance on Wednesday 12 February 2014 for the two schools’ Year 7 students.  The Shaw Theatre is located at 100-110 Euston Road, London, NW1 2AJ. 

Rosemary Leeke, Headteacher at Regent High School, said: 'Our students have benefited enormously though our partnership with UCL and the UCL Academy.  The production this year is much bigger than last year’s, and everyone has worked extremely hard to produce a show that will engage and entertain the audience, and of which the student cast can be immensely proud. 

‘We are especially grateful to Sam Lansdale, the producer of High School Musical On Stage!, for offering us this opportunity to collaborate with undergraduates from UCL and with students and staff from The UCL Academy.'

Geraldine Davies, Principal at The UCL Academy, said: ‘This is a wonderful example of collaboration between our two schools and UCL students. We are very grateful to Sam and his team of student volunteers for their dedication and professionalism and know the production will be even better than last year’s triumph.  We must also mention the work that has gone on behind the scenes at both schools and UCL to make this production such a success.’

Sam Lansdale, an undergraduate in Natural Sciences at UCL, the brainchild behind this collaborative project and the producer of the show, said: ‘It has been a pleasure working with both Regent High School and The UCL Academy on High School Musical On Stage! We have been rehearsing with the cast for just under five months and the time is nearly upon us for the curtain to come up. Everyone involved is incredibly excited and I am sure the cast will get a great reception. I hope that they will leave the experience with very happy memories that will stick with them for years to come. Personally, it has been a delight to witness the friendships form between the two cohorts of school students.

‘The partnership that has formed between both schools and students from University College London is brilliant and I sincerely hope that students from UCL continue to broaden their horizons and engage with their local community, because projects like this can make a big impact. This project will hopefully encourage more students to consider higher education and to get involved in the performing arts.’

Read more on the UCL website about this award-winning project.