School of Rock 16.11.2016

A story of no hopers, geeks and stifled creatives, unexpectedly brought together to learn life lessons and build friendships through the medium of music. 🌟🌟🌟🌟

I was very fortunate to be offered tickets to attend School of Rock this evening by (thanks guys!) and so used the opportunity for a hump day excursion with my ‘surrogate’ mummy Mary. It had been a ropey Wednesday after very little sleep due to illness, followed by a flat car battery which nearly resulted in the train departing for London without me! Upon arrival at the New London Theatre no one could find tickets reserved for me, so I ricocheted from the box office windows to the press stand as advised, and was spoken to very rudely by the woman in charge of ticket distribution for “proper” writers (which I was made aware did not include me!) Not an ideal way to begin an evening of fun but no matter (the mindfulness is clearly working as I didn’t kick off, even managing to chuckle at the prospect of two hours train journey without seeing the show!!)  In the end the tickets were located and I was ready to enjoy the evening ahead. 

The Musical has already received several very good reviews, which is no surprise given that it is an Andrew Lloyd Webber production. My main concern was whether the kids would come across as likeable, as I have very low tolerance for over inflated theatre school luvvies. 

The opening scene introduced our hero Dewey, and his original band. The blonde lead singer made me grin immediately, a parody of so many rock icons and singers rolled into one. Although not entirely relevant I must congratulate him on his legs with particular reference to his thighs – bravo sir! He had magnificent vocals and a confident demeanour, which carefully contrasted the (deliberately) terrible lyrics he sang.

Dewey Finn (David Fynn) was the very essence of Jack Black from the 2003 film and yet managed to make the part entirely his, which is admirable given the magnitude of Mr Black’s success. His voice, mannerisms and exuberance throughout were captivating and encapsulated the lovable rogue persona perfectly. He was energetic and endearing without becoming irritating or too much of a caricature. 

I would be here forever if I took much time to deliberate the vast strengths of the performers in detail, and so will consolidate as best I can. The comedic timing throughout the show made sure there were no slow patches, and the cast were all absolutely spectacular. The spikey, starched characters of Rosalie Mullins (Florence Andrews) and Patty Di Marco (Preeya Kalidas) worked in sparkling tandem with the eccentric  David Fynn and under the thumb Ned Schneebly (Oliver Jackson) to produce a well rounded and relatable story for a varied audience. 

I was extremely impressed by the quality of the children in tonight’s show. They were refreshingly talented, with no hint of obnoxious stage school attitude. It appeared that they were loving every minute and were professional to the last detail, and must be credited for making the show so incredible. When they were rocking out in the second half I looked up and was thrilled to see that the band (as in backing instruments behind the scenes) were taking their break by applauding and supporting the young musicians on stage – wonderful camaraderie. The sets were brilliant, cleverly used in many different ways to keep the audience guessing. The songs were toe tappingly catchy, I particularly liked the one introducing the school, and “stick it to the man!”

The only things I can critique are that during one or two songs I lost some lyrics – a combination of loud live music and speedy singing! The other comment I have is that during the final scene I was slightly blinded by the extra lights which were bright and shining right into my eyes. I didn’t find the theatre staff as friendly as other places I’ve been (see my ticket issues at the beginning and also the slow service without a smile at the bar) which is a shame but no reflection of School of Rock.

The final scene was a real climax, a true crescendo rather than the damp squib that some shows use to conclude when all the big guns have already been brought out. I left the theatre tonight feeling uplifted and grateful for such a fun filled evening – one of the best shows I’ve seen for some time. 
If you would like to buy a ticket I recommend getting them from:

I’m off to bed!!! Tab x