Stage School or StagED School?



Well our world has gone up in storms recently. And by our world I mean the fabulous land of controversy, tantrums and turning up late to auditions. Well so it is according to the new E4 series of ‘Stage school’.


Before we delve into this sensationalized representation of performing arts students lets first discuss the benefits of having a show like this on Television.

Despite it’s incredibly false representation, we can not deny the potential of it being a bit of entertaining TV. And regardless of its lack of authenticity and push for a catty competitive angle it momentarily depicts moments of hard rehearsal and training. Not your cup of tea? I personally can’t sit through a football match so here’s a little secret (I choose not to watch it).


False representation seems to be the biggest argument for taking it off the air. However I would like to offer an alternative aspect – so if you wouldn’t mind me momentarily playing devils advocate… yes this program is sensationalized, exaggerated and quite frankly a tad bizarre. But it’s Television – those knowledgeable enough in the performing arts industry will have an understanding of the professionalism and commitment students have for the arts. Therefore the only one’s who will take this program and make it’s bizarre characters applicable to our reality are those who couldn’t give an Elphaba’s flying monkey about our reality anyway!

But that’s one side of the argument – lets discuss another. This program takes an industry many Musical Theatre performers train immensely for and gives it ego. It takes away the idea that performers can be genuine and creates this harsh hub of catty stroppy young adults. If you haven’t watched this TV program: imagine a cake baked with the only way is Essex mixed in with a cup of an x factor boot camp,  lightly drizzled with Glee. Like Glee, finding one of these students singing openly to nobody with a song conveying their inner emotion is regular. It is also an angle of the show I wish the producers would have avoided. The show simply tries to do too much! Creating this hybrid of sensationalized reality and fantasy leaves the genre of this show ambiguous. As a result of this, the purpose of its content becomes almost irrelevant as it hold’s no weight in the wider spectrum of a poorly formalised television program.

From students openly displaying attitude when losing out on roles to turning up late to auditions – this show has definitely opted to take a unique approach. I believe it is important to understand that television requires a unique form of entertainment. Or at least a unique execution of it’s content. Admittedly my previous statement is a generalisation of what appears to be popular in modern-day television; which arguably is a direct reflection of its viewers. The general public thrives in sensationalized reality shows; with programs like Big brother and made in Chelsea consistently reappearing season after season. Therefore it is a no brainer why producers chose this controversial and at times unbearably heightened false angle to take this program forward. It does open the question of whether musical theatre students simply training hard and being themselves would have been enough! For myself, I would love them to rid the falsified conversation, strip back completely on the cheesy side songs and just show us the raw talent that these young adults definitely possess! Unfortunately however, reality television only works when there is an obvious medium of unreality present. A perfect example of this is how the personalities in Made In Chelsea happen to always ‘randomly’ meet each other on a road in Sloane Square. For this program to succeed it needs to choose an angle and stick to it, doing too much has confused it’s audiences is it a Stage school or a Staged school?

A petition for this program to be taken off the air has risen with thousands of people signing it. Whatever you feel about this program we can’t deny the sense of humour of their social media team.  They have replied back to the growing petition with this:

The authenticity of this picture we can’t confirm as it appears to have since been removed from their twitter

Do I like this show?

At the moment, I am struggling to understand what it is actually about. The purpose of the show is murky. It needs a clearer direction and needs to utilise the young adults raw talent! Had they opted to go for a real representation of how stage school students train – I believe this program would have been better received. There is no denying that creating this would have taken a lot of effort! Unfortunately for the producers, unless the result matches the effort – efforts becomes void. I do not like the show at present but would do so without the gimmick!

What do I rate it?


3/5 stars

Written by MTAS ADMIN





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