Redbridge youngsters called to take part in national ‘Glee Club’ challenge

PUBLISHED: 15:47 05 September 2016 | UPDATED: 16:05 05 September 2016

Finch Stage School Glee Club from Redbridge, winners of 2013 grand final

Finch Stage School Glee Club from Redbridge, winners of 2013 grand final

Christine Baker/Jack Petchey Foundation

EastEnders and West End star John Partridge is urging the borough’s youngsters to take part in the UK’s biggest glee club competition.

Entries are now open for the sixth annual Jack Petchey Glee Club Challenge 2017 and the search is on to find groups who Don’t Stop Believin’.

Members of Finch Stage School, Forest Road, Barkingside, rose to the challenge in 2013 and reached the grand final.

John, who played Christian in the BBC One show and is currently touring in Chicago - The Musical said: “The Glee Club Challenge is inspirational. I have been in this business for 30 years and I am as inspired today as I have ever been by the fantastic groups we judge.

“It’s not about being perfect and polished. We are looking for potential so come and show us if you feel you have it.”

The challenge is open to any group of young people with a passion for performing, aged 11-25, based in Essex or London with groups made of a minimum of eight or maximum of 30 performers.

Entry is free and this year even more young people will get the chance to “tread the boards” by sharing a £5,000 prize money pot.

Groups also receive free workshop visits for schools and bootcamps with theatre and music industry professionals

The grand final will take place at the Indigo at The O2 Arena on Sunday, March 19.

“Don’t be shy, come and do it. We are looking for potential with a capital P,” continued John.

After an initial audition round 60 groups will be short listed.

Five regional finals will take place in London and Essex to select 12 groups to compete at the grand finale.

The Jack Petchey Foundation was established in 1999 to recognise the positive contributions young people make to society and to support them in achieving their potential.

To date, the charity has invested almost £100million on more than 2,000 youth initiatives across London and Essex.

Entry to the Glee Club competition is free and the closing date for entries is Friday, October 14.

Visit for more information.

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