A Brighton based blogger sharing a candid tale of 20-something humanness

Friday, 28 September 2018

Theatre review: School of Rock the musical


I'll be honest; School of Rock wouldn't have been my first choice viewing for a West End performance. Most of the reviews I read beforehand described the play as big-hearted and irresistible, but as someone who has never been too invested in the guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, electrifying world of rock music, nor someone who could fully remember the witty yet touching plot line of the hit film, I mistakenly assumed this one probably wasn't for me.

The musical follows Dewey Finn, a failed wannabe rockstar and all-round unruly, hungover man-child as he decides to earn some extra cash by posing as a supply teacher - his best friend, Nedd - at a prestigious prep school, Horace Green. In the school's alma mater song, teachers and students alike passionately declare that 'nothing will shake these ivy walls', however Finn's big dream is to play at the Battle of the Bands. It just so happens that in his musically gifted students - who are initially more Mozart than Motorhead - he finds the bandmates he never knew he needed. Prepare for those ivy walls to be well and truly shaken.

The critically acclaimed musical is fun, ferociously energetic, and at many points laugh-out-loud funny. In between the roof-raising, pony-tail swinging birth of the best rock band in town, it's sweet and heart-warming too: we witness the pupils growing in confidence throughout and the unlikeliest of tender relationships forming between this self-confessed lazy freeloader and a class of straight-A students. There are some empowering messages in there too: don't give up on your dreams, try something new from time to time, and of course, 'when the world has screwed you, and crushed you in its fist, when the way you're treated, has got you good and pissed, there's been one solution since the world began, don't just sit and take it, STICK IT TO THE MAN!'

The child cast of School of Rock deserve a special mention. Of course I knew they'd be amazing - I've been blown away by the children in every West End musical I've seen - but wow, the talent on display is simply exceptional. I can't imagine how proud their parents must be! They play complicated riffs and keys with effortless grace and precision and invited elated applause and cheers from the audience from start to finish. It was obvious how much they were loving being on stage too; their ferocious energy and knee-sliding enthusiasm was a total delight to watch and had all of us bopping away in our seats.

I would whole-heartedly recommend a visit to the Gillian Lynne theatre to see School of Rock the musical if you get the chance. You'll leave touched and uplifted, and probably half-tempted to pick up your own electric guitar and join the revolution...

Get your tickets now at From the Box Office.



This post was kindly sponsored by the lovely people at From the Box Office. 
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