School of Rock, the iconic movie, brought out the rock god in us all and enraptured a generation of children and adults alike.
So, it was big boots to fill when ‘School of Rock: The Musical’ appeared in 2015, under musical titan Andrew Lloyd Webber, with its cast of kids and grown-ups, and now at the New Theatre Oxford over Christmas until January 1.
As with the film, the show opens with scenes of wannabe rock superstar Dewey Finn (Jake Sharp) convincing as the musician that never made it big.
“‘School of Rock: The Musical’ gave us everything we could have asked for”
The students and teachers from Horace Green prep school are an enormously talented bunch, not only good at acting (shout out to the excellent Alfie Morwood playing Billy the stylist) but also impressive musicians and singers (kudos to Jasmine Djazel as ‘nice pipes’ Tomika).
Indeed they were so good I thought the sounds were being produced by offstage crew, until I was told that the kids had portable amps on their instruments and were indeed playing them live, while singing and dancing, and remembering all of their lines! Impressive, given that I hadn’t even mastered the recorder by that age.
“With something for kids and adults alike, it was a great family Christmas outing, so book now and support the theatre industry”
Rebecca Lock, who has played big West End names such as Mary Poppins and Carlotta in Phantom of the Opera was Mrs Rosalie Mullins, the seemingly up-tight headteacher, who comfortably took us from operatic heights to emotive rock ballads at the drop of the hat.
As for the set, the book-lined corridors and school uniforms were a world away from the inventively dark and dingy sets of the rock underworld.
Capturing seemingly all of the film’s memorable parts, the script also found room for an astonishing 28 musical numbers, and by the final scene the whole audience was up dancing and singing.
We walked out on a high after two hours of full-on family fun. From catchy tunes, a great comedic script (hoots of laughter from the junior audience members), and dazzling performances; School of Rock: The Musical gave us everything we could have asked for.
With something for kids and adults alike, it was a great family Christmas outing, so book now and support the theatre industry.
School of Rock: The Musical runs at Oxford’s New Theatre until January 1. Book here: https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/school-of-rock/new-theatre-oxford/