Photography Credit: Paul Coltas
2022 sees School of Rock embark on its first major tour of the UK and Ireland commencing at our favourite local theatre, The Alexandra Birmingham.
With music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Glenn Slater and a book by Julian Fellowes School of Rock the musical is based on the 2003 film of the same name written by Mike White. School of Rock received its world premiere at the Winter Garden Theatre on Broadway in December 2015 and made its West End debut at the Gillian Lynne Theatre in 2016. With all the original songs from the movie and 14 additional songs written by Andrew Lloyd Webber, School of Rock tells the story of failed wannabe rock star Dewey Finn. When he finds himself without a band or a job, Dewey pretends to be a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. After recognising the students he teaches are musically talented, he forms a band of 5th graders in an attempt to win the upcoming Battle of the Bands contest.
The touring production is produced by David Ian for Crossroads Live by arrangement with The Really Useful Group, Directed by Associate Director Christopher Key. With Choreography by Joann M. Hunter, Associate Chorographer Maria Graciano, Musical supervision Matt Smith, Associate Sound and Lighting Team Adam Fisher and Stuart Porter.
This is the first time we have ever seen the show on stage and I have been a fan of the film since its cinema release. I’ve always been apprehensive to see someone else in the role of Dewey Finn which has put me off seeing the show until now. All my concerns melted away with this charming, hilarious production. Jake Sharp is a revelation as Dewey Finn. Sharp previously played the role in the West End and it was a genuine treat to see a West End performance on our regional stage. Sharp has a meticulous attention to detail in his comedic delivery which makes his performance world class. I thought it would be hard to see someone else in this role but Sharp made it ridiculously easy to forget that this role belonged to anyone else.
The touring production features 3 teams of 12 very talented children who rock alongside Dewey each evening. We had the opportunity to see some local talent at our production such as the wonderful Joseph Sheppard in the role of Zack and talented Eva McGrath as drummer Freddy. The children in this production were mind blowing in their abilities and performed every song with a ferocious energy that I wish I could bottle and sell. If you want to see the future of theatre, look no further than the talented young cast of this touring production of School of Rock. Rebecca Lock as Rosalie Mullins gave us a memorable performance as the stern, silent rocker Principle of Horace Green. Lock blew the roof off the auditorium during her solo, Where did the rock go? Her impressive performance was one of the highlights of the night.
This touring production of School of Rock was sleek and effortlessly cool from its strong ensemble and supportive cast to its vibrant, transformative scenery and costumes. The show is a real treat, I just can’t believe it took me this long to get around to seeing it. For fans of the film, the musical really does breathe life into an already magical script and the additional musical numbers are just the cherry on top. It’s definitely a production I would see again.
We say: “An evening of rock perfection!”