Moorside Junior School - Ripon
When we were approached by James at Stage Invaders with the offer of having an original play for our school we jumped at the chance. So many school musicals are based on existing stories, and it was great to give the children something entirely different; something new they could make their own.
The play we performed was Our City Has a Monster.
During the year we had been studying Wolf Brother with the Year 6 students, and so the story of the play (which includes themes around environment and nature) perfectly complimented what the children had been learning.
What struck us immediately upon starting rehearsals was its uniqueness. Not just in terms of the story, but because the music sounded like something you would hear on the radio. These were proper songs, and we could see how much this excited our young performers.
The script itself was also different in that it didn’t talk down to the children. Instead the dialogue sounded as if it had been written by someone who truly understands what makes children tick (and what makes them laugh…a lot). Once we introduced the play to the Year 6 pupils they were clamouring to be part of it. There were children who had never been part of one of our school productions before, coming forward to be in this. It was great to see.
I can’t thank James and all at Stage Invaders enough for their production, and I know that any other school will be blown away by the quality of the shows, as well as how they impact the children taking part.
It just goes to show that we don’t have to settle for lacklustre productions which ‘tick the box’ of putting on a musical rather than truly inspiring and exciting everyone. I can’t wait to put on another Stage Invaders production at Moorside Junior School, and I hope children across the country get to share in a similar experience.
Claire Rowett - Headteacher
Moorside Junior and Infant Schools
St John's Primary School - Tisbury
My Year 5/6 Class performed 'Our City Has A Monster' as our leavers production in July 2017. I cannot recommend it (and Stage Invaders) highly enough. The show is modern, the script is funny without being cheesy and the songs are fantastic. The children particularly enjoyed the rock and pop influence of the songs, with "Survival Expert" being a huge favourite.
From a teacher's perspective, I was able to make little adjustments so that the show would suit our circumstances and the script is so well written that it gives children a chance to shine even if they are not the main part. The backing tracks are high quality and the songs are catchy yet also challenging.
'Our City Has A Monster' got a brilliant reception from our audiences and the children had a fantastic time rehearsing and performing this original and hilarious show.
Ms Sara Collinson
St. John's Primary School, Tisbury
The Willows School - Rotherham
This year our school had the treat of performing a Christmas musical from Stage Invaders.
As staff we are normally faced with the task of writing a show that that will suit our children and show off their talents, a time consuming task to say the least and a challenge to come up with new ideas.
We approached Stage Invaders about writing a bespoke show for us, as we are a special school where many children have MLD. James and the team spent a lot of time asking about our requirements in terms of speaking parts, time of performance and songs, and found out about the ability range of all our kids, so that the show would be able to offer meaningful roles to everyone who wanted to take part.
Two weeks later (yes just two weeks) Stage Invaders sent us the finished product. It didn't disappoint. When we read through the script we found that not only was it a compelling story, but had the perfect message for our children about Christmas. We then listened to the songs: now we were really excited! They were amazing, so catchy and up beat. We couldn't wait to share it with our children.
Our main concern with theatrical shows such as this, is that some of our children might struggle to pick up the words and melodies of the songs, but on this occasion we didn;’t need to worry. The kids picked the songs up so quickly, and had been written in an accessible way so that we could encourage singing and makaton signing.
The children (and staff) loved the topic lessons where we spent time singing, directing and preparing props and costumes. The catchy songs would be in our heads all day! Children who don't normally like to get on stage and sing couldn't resist!
The children were keen for James from Stage Invaders to come and see our performance. He didn't let them down, coming all the way to Rotherham to see what we had put together, and they did him proud.
Children who had never got on stage before were part of the show, children who had never spoken in front of a crowd had lines and remembered them word perfectly. Every member of staff was moved by the performance, and parents/carers were too.
Once the performance was over the children were still singing the fantastic songs, so much so we had another sing along in our last assembly before Christmas.
I can't recommend Stage Invaders enough for writing such a bespoke performance for our children. James was a pleasure to work with and spent a lot of time communicating with us so the script was just right. An extremely professional service but with a personal touch that made the whole experience thoroughly enjoyable.
We are hoping James will continue to write for us!
The Willow's School.