Thurrock singers have chance to follow in Ruti’s footsteps

Ruti Win

AFTER seven successful years, the Jack Petchey Glee Club Challenge, the UK’s biggest Glee club competition is back for 2018, and it’s set to be bigger and better than ever! Having doubled in size, it is recruiting 60 groups across London and Essex to get involved in this year’s competition.

Last year’s winners, RE:VERB, were a group from Stanford-le-Hope aged 11 to 18, including singer and guitarist Ruti Olajugbagbe. Ruti has since gone on to be crowned the winner of the Voice UK 2018 as part of Team Tom!

The prestige of the Jack Petchey Glee Club Challenge can be seen through its patrons including Graham Norton; Stage and TV star John Partridge; West End star Brenda Edwards and TV star Tamzin Outhwaite.

John Partridge said of the programme: “It is an honour to be a part of an event which not only celebrates young people but actively encourages and helps them develop. I have been associated with The Glee Club Challenge for five years and it is without doubt one of the highlights in my calendar. Every year I am amazed at the standard, the diversity of talent, the creativity and discipline that each group shows. Choreography and vocals worthy of any TV talent show or West End stage.”

Tamzin Outhwaite says: “The great thing about the Glee Club Challenge is that it’s not just a competition. The focus is always on improving performance skills and self-confidence. Groups of all levels are encouraged to participate and, even if you don’t make the Final, you will walk away having learnt so much. It is always a joy to judge the Final and the talent and commitment just blow me away!”

Inspired by the hit US television series, Glee, the Jack Petchey Glee Club Challenge was set up as a way to encourage young people across London and Essex to develop their performance skills and take to the stage as part of a (literally) all-singing and all-dancing competition, all in partnership with the Jack Petchey Foundation.

Now, the Jack Petchey Glee Club Challenge is inviting young people from London and Essex aged 11-25 years old to enter the competition. Groups with a minimum of ten performers and a maximum of 30 per group will be eligible to enter. Those of any standard from across London and Essex are welcome to sign up, whether they are already involved in musical theatre, dance, singing or are just a group of friends who want to try something new!

You have from now until September to apply. As part of this recruitment process, we are looking for 60 groups to work closely with in free workshops, where we will offer mentorship from professional performers.

Five free bootcamp sessions will run across London and Essex, and, to ensure everyone is able to make at least one session, each group will be able to choose their first and second choices to attend. The closest session to your local area will be on Sunday 13th January at Broadway Theatre in Barking.

Please see the full list below:

Sat 1 Dec 2018 – Boswells School, Chelmsford
Sat 8 Dec. 2018 – Husky Studios, Elephant and Castle
Sun 9 Dec 2018 – Tiffin Boys’ School, Kingston
Sat 12 Jan 2019 – Riddlesdown Collegiate, Croydon
Sun 13 Jan 2019 – Broadway Theatre, Barking

Groups are welcome to apply to go to any venue above to fit in with their own schedules. There will also be rehearsal bases across London and Essex, so each group has access to a space throughout the competition. Each group will then be entered into their respective regional finals, giving them a chance to compete for a spot in the Grand Final at the incredibly glamorous London Palladium in March 2019!

The regional finals will be at:

Sat 26 Jan 2019 – Civic Theatre, Chelmsford
Sun 27 Jan 2019 – Orchard Theatre, Dartford
Sat 2 Feb 2019 – Beck Theatre, Hayes
Sun 3 Feb 2019 – Millfield Theatre, Enfield
Sun 10 Feb 2019 – Broadway Theatre, Barking

Groups are welcome to sign up via the Glee Club Challenge website: http://www.jackpetcheyfoundation.org.uk/glee-club-challenge-0 More information on this year’s competition and the project in general can also be found here.

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