Dancers celebrate winning a West End competition

Isobel Thompson, 11, as Fiona from Shrek

Isobel Thompson, 11, as Fiona from Shrek

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DANCERS from a theatre school are celebrating after winning a competition on stage in London’s West End.

Wildcats Theatre School won the Showstoppers Challenge at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Haymarket in London’s West End on Sunday against dance troupes and theatre schools from across the country.

The group will now perform in a gala night in December and have also won a trophy.

During Sunday night’s show, 150 youngsters include the 45 from Wildcats, which was the largest group, each performed three routines to a 1,000 strong audience at the theatre, which has been home to The Phantom of the Opera for the last 21 years.

Wildcats opened the show with Annie and also performed routines from Wicked and Shrek to impress the judges and win the show.

Director of Wildcats Caz Dolby said she was incredibly proud of her group.

She said: “ We are all still in shock but it is absolutely amazing that we won.

“The West End Wildcat troupe were fantastic, they behaved brilliantly and really understood how honoured they were to perform in such a prestigious venue.

“They took part in a full dress rehearsal where they learnt all about real life theatre, wearing headset microphones and performing on the same stage as the stars of The Phantom of the Opera, followed by a full show.”

She said the children’s behaviour was complimented by theatre staff and stage crew.

Caz added: “Their performances in the live show were met with huge applause and the Wildcats totally wowed the crowds with their confidence, character and teamwork.”

The group auditioned for the show’s producer and director Darren Lord from 1640 Productions in December and since then have been rehearsing for the big night.

Stage manager at 1640 Productions Justin Walden, who is originally from Stamford, said he was impressed with the Wildcats troupe.

He said: “It was a joy to see such a talented Stamford troupe appear on a West End stage.

“They deserved to win, as they were the best behaved and the most talented. I am not just saying this as a former Stamford lad, the same thoughts were with the entire production company.

“All the kids have very bright futures and I cannot wait to see a West End show in a few years time with a former Wildcat headlining it!”