Education & Family
by Aspect County

New Stagecoach School

New Stagecoach Schools in Otford, and a night school in Southborough, meeting the growing demand for performance art.

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Carrie Harrison-Iddon, a former actress, is inspiring the next generation of budding young performers in Otford and Southborough. Carrie, 42, took on the role as the new Principal of Stagecoach Performing Arts Otford during the pandemic in December 2020, and is excited to welcome students back to class. Already a principal at Stagecoach Tunbridge Wells for over 10 years, Carrie is delighted to announce a brand-new night school in Southborough, to meet growing demand for performance arts in the northern Kent area.

Stagecoach Tunbridge Wells has weekly classes on Saturdays, with over 130 students learning singing, dancing, and acting from an expert team of performing arts teachers. Such is the popularity of these sessions that Principal Carrie is expanding, opening an additional Thursday school starting at 4.15pm so that more local youngsters can enjoy the benefits of thriving in the performing arts.

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Carrie opened the doors of Stagecoach Performing Arts Tunbridge Wells for children aged 4 – 18 years in the local community in April 2021 and has brought a wealth of creative experience to the role, already driving attendance of the school to capacity on Saturdays at the Holmewood House School venue.

As a long-standing member of the Stagecoach family, performing arts has been a major part of Carrie’s life since she took up the role of Principal of Stagecoach Tunbridge Wells in April 2010. Since then, Carrie has doubled the size of the school, taken students to perform in the West End, regional theatres, and Disneyland Paris.

Carrie says of her new position: I’m buzzing with excitement at the opportunity to build a strong, creative syllabus that will challenge the talented children of Otford and Tunbridge Wells, whilst being fun, educational, stimulating, and rewarding for them.

We have been busy planning the year’s curriculum and activities. Watch this space for some of the exciting events we have in store, such as LAMDA exams in July.”

Stagecoach Performing Arts Otford is part of 2000 extra-curricular performing arts schools worldwide. New student enrolments nationwide are up thirty-two percent (compared to the summer recruitment in 2019), with enrolment enquiries in the last month alone, going up by twelve percent.

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Stagecoach has been working tirelessly to get students back onto the stage, with ninety percent of the UK schools confirming a return to the venue this year. Unfortunately, the pandemic made things more difficult for students to be around one another, which is why Stagecoach is rebuilding students’ social interaction with their peers, supporting them in making new friendships, having a fun time, and learning new skills.

Stagecoach aims to make a difference in its students’ lives by teaching Creative Courage for Life’ – something that’s more important than ever, after a year in lockdown. The future is bright for Stagecoach performers with many having gone on to study and work in performing arts from blockbuster films to countless roles in local theatre productions. 

Early Stages classes are available for children aged four to six and Main Stages classes take place for six to 18-year-olds every weekend.