Andrew Lloyd Webber’s School of Rock musical is the fantastically funny story we all know and love brought to life on stage in a dynamic way.
When Dewey Finn, a failed rockstar, poses as a substitute teacher at an elite prep school, he infuses the children with his passion for rock and roll. Transforming his classroom into a rock band, he enters them into the coveted Battle of the Bands competition.
Bursting with comedy, a killer soundtrack and a tremendous cast, School of Rock is an thrilling musical. On its first ever UK tour, it’s a theatrical love letter to the power of music.
Jake Sharp leads the cast as Dewey Finn – the energetic rock lover that brings out a new side of the children. Jack Black originated the role for the film and his iconic portrayal is a big challenge to take on, but Jake Sharp is phenomenal in the role. His slick wit and incredible comedic timing makes him a perfect fit for the role. With unwavering energy, Sharp’s performance is infectious. His natural repartee with the young cast is what makes this musical so heartwarming.
Rebecca Lock plays the role of Rosalie Mullins, the uptight school principal who wants every rule followed. Lock’s characterisation is remarkable as she gives a compelling performance – she delves deep into the role giving her lot of dimension. The character development is charming to watch as Dewey brings out the wild child in Miss Mullins. When she shows glimpses of loosening up, you root for her character to stop taking life so seriously. Not to mention Lock’s sensational vocals that are showcased in so many different styles, showing her exquisite range.
The whole cast of School of Rock are incredible and create a high quality production, but it’s the children that really steal the show. These kids really took my breath away with their talent – not only are they a triple threat but they are a quadruple threat as they play their instruments live on stage throughout the show. It’s inspiring to see this sheer amount of talent on stage and performed so effortlessly too.
The children performing on press night were Isaac Forward as Freddy, Ivy Balcombe as Katie, David Gluhovsky as Lawrence, Hanley Webb as Zack, Florrie May Wilkinson as Summer, Souparnika Nair as Tomika and Alex Shotton as Billy.
Featuring some of the recognisable songs from the film, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s score brings so much more to the story with his range of music into the musical. From the catchy Stick It To The Man to emotional ballad Where Did The Rock Go – the music is memorable and gives more depth to the story.
School of Rock is the perfect family entertainment and an astounding adaptation of the popular film. Watching young children in the audience feel uplifted and empowered seeing children their age command the stage with such confidence makes it all the more special. As we see the auditorium transformed into a live rock concert for the final number, the audience were on their feet feeling something we all haven’t felt in a very long time.
School of Rock is fresh, funny and boasts young talent like no other I’ve ever seen on stage before. It’s guaranteed to be a spectacular night out that will remind you of the magic of live theatre again.
Other children performing on press night were Ivy Balcombe as Katie, Darmani Eboji as James, Inez Danielak as Sophie, Nessim Adan as Mason, Elodie Salmon as Marcy and Kyla Robinson as Shonelle.
On at Wolverhampton Grand until Saturday 25 September before continuing on tour across the UK.
Photo credit // Paul Coltas