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Schools Spectacular ready for take-off

With less than 24 hours until the first show, the stars of Schools Spectacular 2019 are ready for audiences to be wowed.

A student on a bicycle suspended above a group of friends.

Ashley Benson flies across Qudos Bank Arena at the dress rehearsal of Schools Spectacular 2019: Stars. Credit: Anna Warr Photography.

After hanging in the air above Qudos Bank Arena, Ashley Benson was excited for his third Schools Spectacular.

“This has been the best stunt I’ve ever done at a Schools Spectacular,’’ the Nepean Creative and Performing Arts High School student said.

In four shows this weekend (22 and 23 November), Ashley’s bicycle will soar over the stage and suspend in flight.

Lucy Cornwell, another Nepean High student, will join Ashley onstage as part of the circus skills segment.

“We’re hoping people are amazed ... because we do work really hard and to see more people grow in the circus community would be really cool,” Lucy said.

“It’s quite exhilarating and like a very big adrenaline rush, because it is quite dangerous, yet we feel very safe.”

“It’s empowering to be able to show off what you’ve been working so hard on.’’

The Schools Spectacular brings together more than 5,500 public school students from across NSW.

Dubbo College Senior Campus student Maeve Sparrow, who is a fire juggler in the show, said she was looking forward to performing at such a large-scale event – an opportunity not commonly available in western NSW.

She said the incredible performances come with precautions.

“With fire, because it is very dangerous, we have designated areas; so we have the fuelling area, the lighting area, a spinoff area along with people on the sides spotting us, making sure we don’t burn ourselves,’’ Maeve said.

A student holds a flaming staff.

Maeve Sparrow juggles fire during the final dress rehearsal of Schools Spectacular 2019: Stars.

Co-executive producer Rosemary Davis said audiences would be amazed by the students’ skills.

“It will be a bit of a wow-factor to think that we can do these sorts of things in Schools Spectacular,” Ms Davis said.

“Obviously we’ve had lots of safety checks to make sure everything is A-OK, but these kids are very well trained. They’ve got expert teachers and they’re very good at their craft.”

The Schools Spectacular will fill Qudos Bank Arena with interstellar energy across four performances on Friday, 22 November (11am, 7.30pm) and Saturday, 23 November (1pm, 7.00pm).

Tickets for the show are still available through Ticketek.

Video – Full Dress Rehearsal #Spec19

Duration – 3:23

Read the transcript of Full Dress Rehearsal #Spec19 video.

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