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Wildcats bring a bundle of fun to The Cresset

FANCY performing on the West End stage, taking park in the Mayor’s Variety Show or entertaining on a carnival float? Youngsters from Peterborough can do just that – and lots more.

Wildcats Theatre School has joined forces with The Cresset to create a range of musical theatre classes and holiday activities for children aged four to 16.

FANCY performing on the West End stage, taking park in the Mayor’s Variety Show or entertaining on a carnival float? Youngsters from Peterborough can do just that – and lots more.

Wildcats Theatre School has joined forces with The Cresset to create a range of musical theatre classes and holiday activities for children aged four to 16.

But it’s not all about budding stage stars; the classes are great for making friends, boosting confidence and just having fun.

Nine-year-old Matthew King from Hampton had never read a script or sang on stage but by the end of the week he was performing a key role in High School Musical to a delighted audience of family and friends.

Melanie Glensmark, aged 11, moved to the area and didn’t know anyone. Since joining Wildcats she’s found a group of great friends with whom she’s performed on a float in the Stamford Carnival and visited the Pineapple Dance Studios in London to try out their dance lessons.

Four-year-old Isobel Liddle is preparing for her first exam for the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, while Bethany Collins, aged eight, is looking forward to performing in Showstoppers at Her Majesty’s Theatre in the West End, London, in January.

Chloe Simmons, nine, who performed at the Mayor’s Variety Show in Peterborough, said: “It’s just great fun.”

Wildcats, which is based in Stamford but also has groups in Hampton and Kings Cliffe, opens its doors at The Cresset in January.

Caz Dolby, director of Wildcats said “This is a brilliant opportunity to offer Peterborough high-quality performing arts courses for children.  Our weekly classes are fun and children love learning all the songs and movement.

“It improves their confidence and gets them working together as a team, as well as improving their individual skills. ”

Caz, who used to work as a curriculum specialist in arts and drama for a local authority, opened Wildcats in September 2008 and it has gone from strength to strength, opening new classes across the area and hosting more than 200 children who visit Wildcats for their weekly dose of fun as well as 100’s of other youngsters who take part in holiday programmes, and 1000’s who are entertained by Caz and Kelly-Ann at parties and events.

Phil Parker, director of operations at the Cresset said: “We have a long history of fantastic summer and Easter schools at The Cresset. This partnership with Wildcats takes us to a new level and allows us to provide classes all-year round. Youngsters really benefit from the experience and parents have the security that their child is in a safe and nurturing environment, learning new skills, making new friends, and having the time of their lives. I can’t wait to watch the shows.”

Musicals including The Sound of Music, Wicked, Hairpray, Annie and Camp Rock are already on the agenda for the first six months and children also have the opportunity to work towards musical theatre exams. 

Wildcats is now taking reservations for places at the weekly classes starting on Wednesdays and Saturdays in January.  To reserve your place email with your child’s name and age, or call The Cresset box office on 01733 842500.

For more information about the school log onto

Coming soon

Wildcats classes start in January for youngsters aged four to 13. Mini Wildcats are for four to seven-year-olds and are held on Wednesdays from 5pm to 6pm and Saturdays from 9.30am to 10.30am. Junior Wildcats, for eight to 13-year-olds, are on Wednesdays from 6pm to 7.15pm and 10.45am to 12pm.

Don’t forget the school holidays, when a series of special events will held. Children don’t have to attend regular classes to sign up for holiday workshops.

During half term – both in February and in the summer term - there will be series of one-day workshops on themes such as stage make up, stage and screen photography, musical theatre madness and dance specials.

Easter School is a four-day programme culminating in the performance of Aristocats Kids.

Summer School is a series of week-long programmes working towards shows such as Camp Rock, High School Musical 2 and Annie.

Case studies

Matthew King, nine, from Hampton, Peterborough

Matthew wanted to improve his confidence and make new friends so he went along to the Wildcats summer workshop: High School Musical. Although he already attended modern and tap dancing classes, Matthew had never read a script or sang on stage. But he was given the role of Ryan and by the end of the week he performed a duet on stage.

Matthew had such a great time he joined in the Wildcats Halloween workshop where he got the chance to dress up in costume, use makeup and dance to the moves of ‘Thriller’. 

Matthew loved it so much he invited 24 friends to a Wildcats Disco for his 9th birthday.

Isobel Liddle, four, from Hampton Hargate, Peterborough

Isobel loves Wildcats, especially her teacher Kerry Anne. She gets very excited about attending and has discovered a great talent for poetry and being able to memorise the poems.

Isobel enjoys dancing and learning new songs and getting the chance to perform in shows. Isobel has made lots of new friends and has definitely gained confidence since starting six months ago. She is currently preparing for her first LAMDA exam early next year.

Melanie Glensmark, 11, from Barnack

Melanie moved to Barnack last year and didn’t know anyone in the area. When her mum suggest she go to a Wildcats Cinderella Rock-a-fella summer workshop, Melanie wasn’t keen at first.

She said: “At first I was so nervous and didn’t even want to go - but then I got the part of Buttons and started to really enjoy myself. I loved it. After the summer holidays I wanted to start going to Wildcats weekly. I was nervous again but one girl recognised me as Buttons and said I was good. I couldn’t stop smiling and knew that they were all going to become my friends.

“Wildcats went down to London to Pineapple Dance Studios and tried out some dance lessons – it was so hard and I was so exhausted at the end of the day! Another time w had a float and walked through Stamford performing songs as we went. The streets were lined with people all watching us.

“I feel a lot more confident now performing in front of people and know I have the support of some great friends!”

Bethany Collins, eight, from Hampton, Peterborough

Bethany’s family and friends have said her self-confidence has soared since joining Wildcats. She is much happier and confident in both herself and what she is capable of.

Bethany has made many new friends and looks forward to every class. Bethany is always practicing hard and enjoys learning new songs and routines. She is currently working towards the Wildcats West End performance and loving every minute of it. Her enthusiasm for music and dance is infectious and she always wants to share what she has learnt with anyone and everyone.

Chloe Simmons, nine, from Crowland

Chloe has taken three exams through LAMDA since starting Wildcats two years ago, and is due to take her fourth next February.

Chloe works hard with her mum to prepare for these exams and was delighted to receive the Wildcats Gold Trophy in 2008, which she is very proud of.

Through Wildcats, Chloe has been part of the team at Stamford Carnival on a float, entertained the public at festivals and events, and more recently performed at the Mayor’s Variety Show in Peterborough. “It’s just great fun,” said Chloe.

Chloe’s next big performance with Wildcats is in January when they perform in Showstoppers at Her Majesty’s Theatre in the West End, London.

Notes to editors

For more information, pictures or to organise interviews contact Rebecca Stephens at Syntax Communications on 01733 777678 or 078 796 33 796.