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Thousands sign petition calling for E4’s Stage School to be axed

Students from D&B Academy of Performing Arts, who will star in the show, with co-owner Donna Sullivan (centre) Students from D&B Academy of Performing Arts, who appear in the E4 reality show, with co-owner Donna Sullivan (centre)
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Thousands of people have signed an online petition calling on Channel 4 to take its drama school series Stage School off air, claiming it is a “complete misrepresentation of training in the arts”.

The scripted reality show, which follows students at the D&B Academy of Performing Arts in Kent, first aired on E4 on September 5. The petition calling for it to be axed has so far attracted 2,000 signatures in the first 24 hours of it going live on change.org.

The programme, a 30-part series, is described as an “all-singing, all-dancing journey of auditions, love affairs and jazz hands”.

However, the petition, set up by actor Roddy Lynch, calls on Channel 4 to stop what it describes as “mindless propaganda”, telling an inaccurate story of what it is like to attend drama school in the UK.

“Drama school is an encouraging and supportive environment which prepares budding artists for the industry. If this show is to stay on the air, it leaves a massive risk of deterring young people who are thinking of training for a career in the arts due to being fed a total misrepresentation of what drama training is actually like,” the petition says.

Social media users have also criticised the show’s scripted format, with West End Producer claiming on Twitter that the show was “another reality show based on no reality whatsoever”.

Others have complained about the reputation it gives drama training and the arts.

Channel 4 did not wish to comment when approached by The Stage.

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