★★★★ – The Future’s Looking Good at School Of Rock!
Where: Gillian Lynne Theatre
Review date: Wednesday 6th March 2019
About the Show:
Based on the hugely popular film of the same name starring Jack Black, School of Rock follows wannabe rock star Dewey Finn who poses as a supply teacher to earn some extra money. However, the only subject he has any clue about is music! The show shows Dewey trying to transform a class of top performing school students into Battle of the Bands champions.
Encore Rating Factor:
Rock Factor: ★★★★★
In a time where the future is looking so uncertain politically and culturally, School of Rock allows us to feel at ease that musical theatre is in safe hands for many years to come. An incredible cast of youngsters takes to the West End stage to re-create the iconic 2003 film – guided by stand out adult performances from Craig Gallivan as Dewey Finn, Alan Pearson as Ned Schneebly and Laura Tebbutt as Rosalie Mullins.
On a film set, actors and musicians have the comfort of being able to re-shoot the piece if it’s not quite spot on. On the stage, there’s nowhere to hide, which makes it even more impressive that the child cast delivers note-perfect performances of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s score night on night. At this performance, the child cast includes Maxwell Apple, Delilah Bennet-Cardy, Jasper Bew, Nayan Gupta, Tia Belle Keilty, Evie Lawley, Caspar Lloyd, Ikechuckwudi Machie, Chloe Marler, Shani Roberts, Sara Sheen and Will Tarpey.
It’s worth pointing out to fans of the film that you will be hearing new songs – which accompany the story superbly and bring some show-stopping moments. As Dewey teaches his pupils how life can sometimes be unforgiving, Stick It To The Man shows us a different side to the polite, well-read youngsters we’d previously seen.
With Dewey assembling his band, we’re given a great introduction to the talents of the cast, as they each get solo stage time to show off their skills as they’re told You’re In The Band.
Due to their age, the child cast members alternate between shows, and each performer brings with them huge amounts of energy. When thinking about the production, the lasting image is of Nayan Gupta – who plays Freddy – shredding the drums with the showmanship and flair of a seasoned pro.
The anthemic School of Rock (Teacher’s Pet) brings the show to a close and sums up the feel-good factor, ensuring you’ll be leaving the theatre with a smile.
Age is just a number – a lesson well and truly taught by the School of Rock.