Ever since we learned that the legendary film-come-musical was set to cross the Atlantic and make its debut in the West End, we’ve been super stoked! By all accounts, this rockin’ musical is like no other; showcasing the talents of teeny-tiny musicians that are set to be stars of the future
Earlier this week we attended the School of Rock launch party and it was truly rocking. After being treated to an amazing taster of a few of the songs from the show, legendary broadcaster and DJ Jo Whiley took the helm to interview the show’s co-creators, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Julian Fellowes, and director Laurence Connor.
The idea to work the smash-hit movie into a musical – which sky-rocketed the amazing Jack Black to super stardom in the early ’00s – first came to Andrew over a decade ago. Winning the rights to do so from Paramount Pictures took another seven years though, so when the show opened on Broadway in 2015, it had already been quite the adventure!
For screenwriter Julian Fellows, that adventure started a little later, in a small meeting room in the House of Lords. When Jo asked why he wanted to be involved in the project there was one simple answer: “Well, I would have thought after Downton Abbey it was a natural fit!”
Meanwhile, Andrew’s main concern when moving the show from Broadway to London was whether or not there would be enough talent. The show requires three casts to perform across the eight-shows-per-week schedule, which means there was the need to find 39 rockin’ kids in the UK to play the roles; and that’s no mean feat!
Both Andrew and Laurence were concerned that the calibre of rock would not have been instilled within the younger generation, and that finding enough children with that skill set would be difficult. However it was actually the breadth of talent which appeared in the open auditions that was the biggest shock to all of the creatives – where over 4,000 young hopefuls auditioned!
Now, the countdown is on, and we are just a little over eight weeks away from experiencing the amazing musical talent of 39 of the UK’s finest young rockers, along with the comedic brilliance of David Flynn, set to take the lead role of Dewey Finn.
School of Rock opens at the New London Theatre on 24 October 2016. Tickets can be bought now at Ticketmaster.co.uk.