O. M. G. What an experience. Holy. Fricking. Moly.
Fun fact for you all, School of Rock is my favourite movie of all time (has been for like almost 10 years). And Andrew Lloyd Webber is one of my favourite musical people of all time. So when I first heard that the 2 were coming together, I felt a mixture of excitement and scepticism. However I remained optimistic, with a pinch of salt. And when it premiered in Broadway 2 years ago, getting acclaimed reviews, I was even more desperate to see it.
School of Rock, if you don’t know, follows the story of musican Dewy Finn who’s trying to make it as a rockstar and “stick it to the man”. But things get difficult when he gets kicked out of his band and his roommate’s girlfriend demands he pays the rent. So he gets a job at Horace Green Prep School and soon discovers the musical talents of the kids he’s teaching.
The musical was incredible. As some who loves rock music and musical theatre music, I was a bit sceptical as to whether it was possible to balance the two genres out but believe me – it really does. David Fynn does an incredible job at tackling the beloved lead character which we know from Jack Black. His rendition of The Legend of the Rent almost channelled Jack Black onto that stage. I really enjoyed the balance of songs from the original movie, songs we recognise, and brand new songs, that were just as enjoyable. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but if you thought musical theatre and rock clashing was interesting, let me give you 1 word. Opera.
Another moment, probably one of my favourites, has to be in the song “You’re In The Band”. If you recall from the movie, the character of Summer wants to be a backup singer and sings “Memory” from the musical Cats to audition. Well School of Rock in the UK is being performed in the Theatre Royal Drury Lane which Cats/musical theatre fans will know, played host to Cats the musical for 21 years. Dewey’s comment “Stop. I never want to hear that song in this theatre again” had me cracking up.
Onto the performers. Like I said above, David Fynn does an incredible job at keeping such an iconic character alive and going for the entire show. He’s funny, he’s hit the nail on the head with the phrasing, great voice and overall wonderful character. Florence Andrews, who played Rosalie Mullins, the principal of the school, also did an incredible job and brought a new sweetness and innocence to the character, which I enjoyed. Finally, the children. I honestly feel like giving up studying music because they were all better than me, and they’re like 12. It’s depressing. But still great to watch. I loved the girls who played Summer, Katie and Shonelle (I believe that was her name) – they brought a charismatic energy to the ensemble as well as excelling in their roles.. The young boy who played Zack absolutely killed the guitar solo in the main song and really channelled an inner rockstar, and the mannerisms that the boy who played Billy presented were hilarious to watch.
As I’m a very picky person, the only criticism I would have was volume. I felt, especially at the end, was just a little too loud and I left with my ears ringing. However, that didn’t take away from the musical. Man. I. Loved. It. I know I said Dear Evan Hansen was my 2nd favourite, but seeing as I’ve never actually seen it, I’m afraid School of Rock has taken it’s place.
Overall, very well deserved 5 out of 5 stars – of course. ❤
School of Rock is currently running at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in the UK and Winter Garden Theatre in the US. Head over to the website to get more information HERE.
Please note – this show is recommended for 8+. There is minimal swearing.