Gillian Lynne Theatre(previously called New London Theatre)
Drury Lane, London
Previewed: 24 October 2016
Opened: 14 November 2016
Booking to: 5 January 2020
Buy tickets:Buy tickets online
Nearest Tube: Covent Garden
Monday at 7.30pm
Tuesday no shows
Wednesday at 7.30pm
Thursday at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Friday at 7.30pm
Saturday at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Sunday at 3.00pm
Runs 2 hour and 30 minutes including one interval
£? to £? (plus booking fees if applicable)
Andrew Lloyd Webber's new stage musical School of Rock in London with lyrics by Glenn Slater and book by Julian Fellowes, adapted from the film.
This new stage musical follows Dewey Finn, a failed, wannabe rock star who decides to earn an extra bit of cash by posing as a supply teacher at a prestigious prep school. There he turns a class of straight 'A' pupils into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping mind-blowing rock band. But can he get them to the Battle of the Bands without their parents and the school's headmistress finding out? Featuring 14 new songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber and all the original songs from the movie, this new musical promises to be a blast!
Directed for the stage by Laurence Connor with choreography by JoAnn M Hunter, designs by Anna Louizos, lighting by Natasha Katz and sound by Mick Potter.
When this production opened here at the New London Theatre in November 2016, Ann Treneman in the Times said that "this musical, about a failed rock star named Dewey who ends up teaching a class of ten-year-olds how to be a band, is Andrew Lloyd Webber at his most playful... The script, sharp and current, is by the ubiquitous Julian Fellowes. The lyrics, by Glenn Slater, are clever and never naff." Henry Hitchings in The London Evening Standard exclaimed that "this fresh and charming musical" is "loud and cheeky, a feelgood experience with a hint of anarchic wildness...With an exuberant silliness that feels like a seasonal tonic, this is a big-hearted, family-friendly show." Dominic Cavendish in the Daily Telegraph asked: "What has Julian Fellowes brought to the table? His valuable contribution is one of fine-tuning - so that the whole story, which now gives more airtime to the pressure-cooker consequences of pushy parenting, powers along at an energetic, adrenal lick... The most enjoyable few hours money can buy." Michael Billington in the Guardian wrote that "it has an overwhelming good nature and allows its preteen performers to display their genuine talent... Laurence Connor as director orchestrates the action with great skill... this is Lloyd Webber's most exuberant show in years and, at a time of general gloom, is dedicated to the great cause of cheering us all up." Ian Shuttleworth in the Financial Times thought that "Andrew Lloyd Webber so wants to show that he has grit. His score here fails almost entirely. I spotted one archetypal rock chord sequence in the entire show; there was nearly a second, but even when quoting musically from 'Walk on the Wild Side' he couldn't resist gussying it up a bit." Neil Norman in the Daily Express commented that "this musical version of the 2003 movie that turned comic Jack Black into a bona fide movie star comes over like a soft-centred cross between Matilda and Our Ladies Of Perpetual Succour." Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail praised it as being "terrific fun, this show."
The original November 2016 cast featured David Fynn as 'Dewey Finn', Florence Andrews as 'Rosalie Mullins', Jonathan Bourne as 'Gabe' / 'Jeff' / 'Billy’s Dad', Nadeem Crowe as 'Doug' / 'Mr Spencer', Michelle Francis as 'Mrs Bingham', Rosanna Hyland as 'Mrs Hathaway', Oliver Jackson as 'Ned Schneebly', Preeya Kalidas as 'Patty Di Marco', Cassandra McCowan as 'Mrs Turner', Joel Montague as 'Stanley' / 'Mr Williams', Andy Rees as 'Mr Mooneyham' / 'Snake', Cameron Sharp as 'Theo', Andrew Spillett as 'Drummer' / 'Police Officer', Lucy Vandi as 'Ms Sheinkopf', with Charlotte Bradford, Jason Denton, Cellen Chugg Jones, Alfie Parker, and Tasha Sheridan.
The roles of the 13 children where each shared by three actors in the original November 2016 cast: Jobe Hart, Joshua Vaughan, and Logan Walmsley as 'Billy'; Bailey Cassell, Jude Harper-Wrobel, and Noah Key as 'Freddy'; Bradley Bissett, Denzel Eboji, and Sonny Kirby as 'James'; Selma Hansen, Lois Jenkins, and Sophia Petit as 'Katie'; Giles Carden, Oscar Francisco, and James Lawson as 'Lawrence'; Madeleine Haynes, Leah Levman, and Natasha Raphael as 'Marcy'; Presley Charman, Lucas Chow, and Ben Dawson as 'Mason'; Zac Dowlatshahi, Harry Egerton, and Jacob Swann as 'Matthew'; Jaydah Bell-Ricketts, Shoshana Ezequiel, and Amelia Poggenpoel as 'Shonelle'; Lola Moxom, Mia Roberts, and Grace Schneider as 'Sophie'; Isabelle Methven, Lucy Simmonds, and Eva Trodd as 'Summer'; Nicole Dube, Amma Ris, and Adithi Sujith as 'Tomika'; and Tom Abisgold, Toby Lee, and Jake Slack as 'Zack'.
"Anyone in need of a pick-me-up really ought to head to School Of Rock, Andrew Lloyd Webber's new show which is one long, monster guitar riff of pure, uncomplicated joy. Based on the 2003 film, it's a modern fable about a pot-bellied, beer-swilling teacher called Dewey who turns his obedient, cello-playing pupils at a prestigious school into a rock band behind the backs of their buttoned-up headmistress and ghastly, pushy parents... Julian Fellowes' very funny script, which closely follows the film, flirts with ideas of rebellion but mainly ploughs the more family-friendly territory of self-discovery. There is nothing remotely non-conformist about the rock culture the hapless man-child Dewey aspires to, with its knowing clichés of bare-chested blokes thinking themselves sex gods as they power through a Jimi Hendrix solo. Rather, for this emotionally arrested outsider and his fearful, repressed pupils, going nuts on guitar and drums provides electrifying feelings of kinship and self-expression. On screen this worked fine. In the theatre, it's irresistible. Admittedly, Lloyd Webber's score occasionally sounds a bit like an old codger's idea of rock and roll. But it's anthemic enough when it needs to be. And the children - three rotating casts who play their instruments live - are phenomenal." The London Metro
"Waving goodbye to Puccini and hello to Led Zeppelin, Lloyd Webber has written the freshest, most exuberant and sheerly enjoyable musical of his career. He even permits himself a dig at his past when Dewey berates a girl who chooses Memory from Cats as her audition piece. Much of the show's appeal derives from the remarkably natural and confident performances of the children who, a preliminary announcement assures us, play their own instruments - and do so extremely well... With its endorsement of youthful rebellion, School Of Rock is unlikely to appeal to Lord Lloyd Webber's and Lord Fellowes's fellow peers but it will enchant all freer spirits. Along with the rest of the first night audience, I 'pledged allegiance to the band'." The Sunday Express
"Andrew Lloyd Webber's new musical is a magnificent return to form. Adapted from the immensely likeable Jack Black movie, it tells the story of Dewey Finn, a tubby, malodorous, rock music-loving slacker with a permanent hangover who accidentally ends up teaching at the absurdly starchy Horace Green Preparatory School. The story has everything already. It's a fairy tale with a twist, a fish-out-of-water comedy; and, tweaked by Julian Fellowes, it has some sharp things to say about too much parenting being as bad as too little... Lloyd Webber has talked about going back to his rock roots, and this is his best score in years. In fact, the rousing rock anthem Stick It to the Man might be my favourite song of his for about three decades. Five gold stars for this rock-solid hit, a foot-stomping, deliriously enjoyable fable of freedom and fun." The Sunday Times
School of Rock in London at the Gillian Lynne Theatre (previously named the New London Theatre) previewed from 24 October 2016 and opened on 14 November 2016