The London Palladium will host two special concert performances of the musical adaptation of the Frances Hodgson Burnett's novel.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s School of Rock is his latest new musical to come to the West End after dazzling success on Broadway. Based on the hilarious film starring Jack Black, it offers everything fans love and more.
The rock and roll philosophy, Stick It to the Man, gets its own high energy musical number fans are sure to be humming days after they’ve left the theatre. Audiences also revisit songs from the film such as In the End of Time and School of Rock (Teacher’s Pet).
The Broadway production closed early this year, but there’s still plenty of opportunities to catch it in the West End.
What is School of Rock about?
Dewey Finn is a failed rockstar in every sense. Playing dive gigs, hanging by a thread at work, and his roomie’s new girlfriend is on his case 24/7. He hits rock bottom (pun intended) when even his loser band doesn’t want him. With the rent due, he poses as his flatmate to be a substitute teacher at Horace Green prep school to earn a quick buck. What he doesn’t expect to find is a class full of enough musical talent to take him to, and maybe win, the Battle of the Bands.
Who stars in School of Rock?
Filling Jack Black’s shoes as Dewey Finn is Craig Gallivan, who has starred in musical juggernauts such as Billy Elliot and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.
Opposite Gallivan as Horace Green’s straight-laced headmistress, Miss Mullins, is Laura Tebbut, and Alan Pearson plays Ned Schneebly, his long-suffering roommate.
Yet the real stars of the show are the kids. They play, sing, and dance their way out of school and onto the stage. It takes an army of very talented youngsters to keep Horace Green’s classroom full and the School of Rock rocking. Zack, shredding the lead guitar, is played by Jasper Brew, Sebastian Adams-Eaton and Amos Mayland. Bass-face expert, Katie, is played by Evie Lawley, Sofia Wilkinson Hill and Millie-Jayne Evans. Firing up the keyboard, Lawrence, is Caspar Lloyd, Danial Chang and Noah Gupta-Wright.
What can audiences expect from School of Rock?
A show for anyone who loves the hit 2003 film which gave the world the hilarious situation of Jack Black looking after a classroom full of well-to-do children, School of Rock has also become a favourite to those new to the tale. Endlessly quotable and packed with original rock songs, it’s only natural that it would come to the West End as a full-on all-singing, all-rocking musical!
So much of the original film’s spirit shines through the entire show, yet it is not a slavish copy. Gallivan channels Jack Black’s unique performance while making the role of Dewey completely his own. Killer rock and roll vocals, a goofy expressiveness and a whole lot of heart makes him a leading man audiences will always root for, no matter how many bad decisions he makes.
As soon as the children file into view, the show offers relentless energy as they morph from pitch-perfect prep school kids to rock gods. There’s not enough foot-stomping, air-punching moves in the world that can convey how much passion these mini-moshers have. Every time they’re on stage, the whole theatre lights up. From anger, to frustration, to pure joy, these kids take the auditorium through the whole spectrum of emotions in just a few hours.
It’s not just the rock and rollers that share the spotlight. The teachers and parents, headed up by headmistress Miss Mullins, are full of one-liners that are destined to encourage riotous laughter. Tebbut’s Miss Mullins shows off her chops as a classical singer who can belt out a rock ballad with ease.
The Gillian Lynne Theatre’s rotating stage seamlessly pulls together each set, including Dewey’s crusty old bedroom. School of Rock really is a show that astounds all the senses.
What are the critics saying?
“The most enjoyable few hours money can buy” ***** – The Daily Telegraph
“Terrific fun” ***** – Daily Mail
“Five-star triumph” ***** – The Sunday Times
“A big hearted show” **** – Evening Standard
“A triumph for Andrew Lloyd Webber” **** – Daily Mirror
And, most importantly…
“I laughed. I cried. I rocked!” – Jack Black
What else do I need to know about School of Rock?
School of Rock runs at approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes with one intermission. It is now running at London’s Gillian Lynne Theatre, booking until January 2020.
Tickets for School of Rock are available now through Ticketmaster.co.uk.