School of Rock, Gillian Lynne Theatre | Review

Monday, 20 May 2019

School of Rock
Gillian Lynne Theatre
Reviewed on Wednesday 15th May 2019 by Olivia Mitchell 

School of Rock is one of those cult films that are genuinely wonderful. Funny, sweet and a crowd pleaser, the 2003 Jack Black hit transfers well to stage and provides and entertaining night out for all ages.

The musical follows Dewey Finn (Craig Gallivan) a wannabe rockstar, who's been kicked out of his band and somewhat accidentally becomes a substitute teacher for a prestigious prep school. Struggling to teach anything, he soon realises he can connect with the children through music and opens their eyes to the one subject he's well versed in- Rock!

From here on in music making and mischief ensue with the children sneaking around behind their prim principle Rosalie Mullins (Laura Tebbutt) and covering their tracks from their parents as they attempt to win the Battle of the Bands contest. 

As Dewey, Craig Gallivan fantastically helms the somewhat formulaic musical; with an undeniable magnetism that does Jack Black proud whilst bringing his own spin on the larger than life rocker. Barely leaving the stage, Gallivan's portrayal is energetic and hugely memorable and he provides face-melting singing as well as a marvellously humourous performance. 

As cliched as the character is, Laura Tebbutt brings Mozart singing Rosalie Mullins to life in a delightfully charming and comic way. Her characterisation is very well developed and her vocal performance is a diamond moment in the show. Tebbutt's solo number Where Did the Rock Go? is a plaintive ballad performed with pipes of steel and a real oomph.

Though well performed, the prologue of the show before the children begin performing does feel over extended and it takes some time for the musical to really perk up. However, when the young actor-musicians take the stage, the Gillian Lynne theatre comes alive with unrivalled talents. Ensemble numbers School of Rock and Stick It to the Man are particular stand outs. 

The Horace Green students are a live in person advert for talent as they rock out on stage with the skill you'd expect of those much their senior. Will Tarpey is a complete stand out as the band's stylist Billy. Emoting every second and earning laughs from the audience left, right and centre he is a real superstar who knows how to own and work a stage. Amelie Green is witty as stuck-up Summer and Caspar Lloyd is wonderful as Lawrence. Nayan Gupta is completely fantastic when he showcases his superb musical talents as Freddy. Special mention must go to Jasper Bew who is out of this world as Zack, giving a performance to rival most adults and completely rocking the stage.

There are lulling moments in this production but it does manage to capture the heartwarming nature and humour that we all love from the film. As well as being a fun night out, School of Rock highlights the importance and power of music and is sure to bring a smile to your face and a tap to your toes.

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  1. Hi there! I think that you did your very best to provide your readers with such an excellent article! Thanks for bringing this issue to our attention!

  2. I think that no one will argue with the fact that this is really a cult film that influenced more than one generation in our country.

  3. I love live theatre. It seems I haven't visited our drama theatre for ages. It's a shame but I have no time for that. Due to the great amount of multiple choice questions and answers and other writings to do I have no time for the things I like and people I love.

  4. By the mid-1950, entertainers like Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Joe Turner became well known with the white crowds. Radio circle jockeys named this music rock 'n followers for twitch

  5. There was a scene in the film "Titanic" where travelers in the second rate class or "steerage" segment were happily moving to a touch of music with Leonardo DiCaprio driving them and when Kate Winslet saw this occurrence, she promptly joined the social event, getting down on the dance floor and jigging alongside the seriously contaminations beat.

  6. Celtic rock determined out of the 'electric society' music scene in the start of the seventies. A Scottish artist known as Donovan delivered a collection known as "Open Road" where he named one of his musical creations as "Celtic Rock",