This is the first post in my series called “Hayley saw a lot of shows in one go and didn’t prepare a schedule to post them”. So you’re getting posts on five of the six shows that I saw last week everyday until Christmas. And first up was School of Rock.
Having listened to the album with the original Broadway cast, it’s safe to say I was absolutely buzzing to see this. The film came out when I was about 7 or 8 and it’s definitely one that makes me feel nostalgic and I was really intrigued to see how the show captured the comedy and heart of the film. On top of that, School of Rock was the first show I had seen by Andrew Lloyd Webber (no seriously!).
In case you are unfamiliar with the premise, School of Rock follows Dewey Finn, a wannabe rockstar who poses as a substitute teacher and ends up entering a Battle of the Bands contest with the students he learns to bond with. David Fynn who played Dewey was outstanding. His energy was off the charts and his vocals were a perfect fit to Andrew Lloyd Webber & Glenn Slater’s score. What really captivated me about his performance was how much heart Dewey had. Let’s be real, if a stranger had come into a school in Britain posing as a teacher, he would be thrown in jail and The Sun would have his face plastered all over their front pages. But in this show, you end up rooting for Dewey. In my opinion, I think it’s because he’s just someone not wanting to give up his dreams even if he is an adult.
As incredible as David is, the real stars of the show are the kids of Horace Green. They were all simply fantastic and they shone so brightly on the stage. From their stage presence to their voices to their acting to their polished American accents. They were all such a joy to watch on stage. Even if I am slightly jealous because I’m twice their age and pale in comparison to their accomplishments.
A special recognition has to go to the kids that play the instruments. So, before the show starts there’s an announcement from Andrew Lloyd Webber informing us that the kids in the show are playing “100% live.” I’ve watched practically every TV performance the show has done that’s had the disclaimer that they are in fact playing their instruments live. My seat was right underneath where the “grown up band” – the band who play the songs the kids aren’t part of – were situated. And I still could not help myself looking up at them every time the younger performers were playing! It sounds so silly of me to do upon reflection but they were that incredible.
I also have to give special recognition to Florence Andrews who played Rosalie Mullins, the principal of Horace Green. She was fantastic, I absolutely adored her voice. Not only can she uphold operatic notes in “Queen of the Night” but she can really belt her emotions through an amazing song called “Where Did The Rock Go?”
With mostly original music from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Glenn Slater including my favourites “You’re In The Band” and “Stick It To The Man”, the show does include “Teacher’s Pet” from the movie. The New London Theatre is a MASSIVE space and I think it’s definitely the perfect space for a show like this. School of Rock is an enjoyable few hours that really cheered me up after a couple of tough weeks. It’s a smash hit and deservedly so.
Also side note, I met David who plays Dewey and he was absolutely lovely!
School of Rock is currently playing at the New London Theatre and is booking until April 9th. For tickets and more information you can visit http://uk.schoolofrockthemusical.com
Stay tuned tomorrow for my review of Once In A Lifetime at the Young Vic Theatre.
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