Based on the 2003 cult comedy film of the same name, School of Rock The Musical tells the hilarious tale of washed up wannabe rockstar Dewey Finn. If you’ve seen the film you’ll know the story but for those who haven’t (why not, it’s great!?) here are the basics. In a pinch, Finn fraudulently accepts a job as a substitute teacher at the highly esteemed Horace Green prep school. To say the very least he’s not cut out for teaching meaning math is out and rock is in. The Battle of the Bands is fast approaching and his classroom full of young learners soon becomes a fully fledged rock band.
Now I know what you’re thinking, Andrew Lloyd-Webber doesn’t seem like the type to be writing music for School of Rock but I can assure you that the Lord himself has masterfully revamped this much loved story with an exceptional score that blends faultlessly with the much loved classics from the film.
This show could fall flat on its face without a top tier actor in the roll of Dewey Finn and my goodness, does Jake Sharp fit the bill. With energy unrivalled and his own brilliantly witty unique spin on the role, Sharp leads this show with exemplary skill. Appearing completely at home on stage he bounces off his fellow cast with ease; exuding energy and inspiring passion. The audience loves him and the kids on stage clearly adore him, he hits the mark exceptionally well.
That being said, this certainly isn’t a one-man show and the rest of the cast are mighty impressive. Rebecca Lock wow’s the audience as the uptight Miss Mullins, showing her softer side before blowing the roof off the theatre with jaw-dropping vocals. Matthew Rowland and Nadia Violet Johnson are fabulous as Dewey’s fed-up friends, Ned and Patty and the rest of the adult cast double and triple up as rockstars, parents and teachers, always remaining engaging and entertaining in their roles.
The kids in this musical are unbelievably talented. Not only do they play their instruments live on stage but their acting ability is exceptional. They have the audience howling with a fantastic ability to land jokes just as well as their grown up cast mates. They’re bursting with energy, incredibly professional and a real joy to watch on stage.
The overall design of the show is excellent and the direction by Laurence Connor is brilliantly thought through and executed to make the show gripping, smooth and fast paced. The set hasn’t transferred to the touring stages as well as I had hoped, I did miss the revolve and the set changes sometimes felt rather clunky. A minor flaw in an otherwise faultless performance.
School of Rock certainly is rocking at Milton Keynes Theatre this week. Its fun, fresh and formidably funny. With a top notch cast and a whole host of mightily impressive kids, School of Rock the Musical will lift your spirits and rock your world. A brilliant night out.
Don’t miss your chance to Rock and Roll at Milton Keynes Theatre until Saturday 12th February, before School of Rock continues on its UK Tour. For tour dates and tickets click here.
*Production Images belong to School of Rock UK
*Kids cast at our performance Isaac Forward, Ivy Balcombe, David Gluhovsky, Hanley Webb, Darmani Eboji, Ophelia Parsons, Alfie Morwood, Saffia Layla, Jasmine Djazel, Nesim Adnan, Paris Banyong, Eden Anthony.
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