Students past and present will be helping Stage One drama school celebrate its 30th anniversary.

More than 120 students, aged four to 18, will be taking part in a show at Ballakermeen High School’s Studio Theatre this weekend where they will showcase what they have learned this year.

And they will be joined by some of the school’s former students, who will perform two songs as the Stage One Alumni Choir.

The show is called Can You Imagine That?, a song title from the latest Mary Poppins film.

Principal Jacqui Hawkes told Island Life: ‘The relevance of that is “goodness me, we’re 30 years old, can you imagine that?”’

This year’s focus, for all but the youngest of students, has been on taking part in the Guild and Stage One enjoyed much success.

Drama students won the choral speaking up to year six class and senior students won their choral speaking class.

Musical theatre students won the action song class and the senior musical theatre students won the concert class.

Students will stage their performance pieces as well as some new items.

The alumni choir, which will come together for the first time on Saturday, will perform Reach For The Stars, the title of Stage One’s first ever show at the Studio Theatre.

They will also sing One Day More from Les Miserables.

The concert will end with all the students coming together to perform a song from Frozen, which leads into their December production of Frozen Jr at the Studio Theatre.

‘This seemed a fitting choice to close our 30th birthday celebrations as Samantha Barks is a former Stage One student,’ Jacqui said.

Samantha is currently playing the role of Elsa in the West End production.

Rehearsals have already started for Frozen Jr and when the school starts again in September it will be a 10-week push to get the production together.

Stage One, based at Onchan Parish Hall, teaches musical theatre and drama to youngsters aged four to 18.

Jacqui’s teaching team is made up of Sophie Rudge, Alex Batey and Leah Carter, a visiting member of staff who helps with choreography.

Jacqui said: ‘Honestly, I can’t believe where 30 years have gone, but probably most people of my age say things like that.

‘It’s just extraordinary how quickly the time has gone by. I’m so incredibly proud of what we have built and achieved with our students and I’m proud of our teaching team and especially our students. People often ask me: “How many students do you think that you’ve taught over 30 years?”. I wish I’d kept a note of it but I think it must be coming up to 1,000.’

She said there were many highlights of the 30 years.

They include staging the play version of Les Miserables at the newly-opened Studio Theatre to celebrate Stage One’s 10th anniversary in 2003.

‘That was a big production at the time,’ Jacqui said.

Another standout moment was the senior drama students winning the Manx Amateur One Act Play Festival with All The World’s A Stage the first time they entered - much to Jacqui’s surprise - not long after the drama school started.

‘That encouraged us to enter more,’ Jacqui said.

Last year Stage One won the One Act Play Festival again with their impressive performance of The Musicians by Patrick Marber.

They were invited to perform the play again at the Gaiety Theatre during the Easter Festival. Jacqui described it as the most challenging piece the school had attempted.

Many Stage One students have gone on to make a career in theatre.

Jacqui has seen Samantha Barks perform on several occasions, in The Last Five Years at London’s The Other Palace, in New York for Pretty Woman, and in Frozen twice.

‘It’s great seeing what Samantha has done,’ Jacqui said.

Other success stories are Ben Karran, who is currently appearing in the West End production of Les Miserables, Heartstopper actor Joe Locke and Laura Pigott.

But Jacqui added: ‘The whole premise of Stage One was not to turn out budding actors and things but to give children at the time an opportunity to perform, and with that comes their confidence.

‘It’s not about the half a dozen or so that have made it, it’s about the hundreds of others who have benefitted from performing in public.’