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School of Rock - UK and Ireland Tour Review

The kids will rock you in Andrew Lloyd Webber's fantastic stage adaption of the popular 2003 movie, School of Rock, which starred Jack Black.

The cast of School of Rock. Photo by Paul Coltas

For the stage, the story is slightly more fleshed out retaining some of the songs from the film with additional numbers by ALW but there's no doubting who the stars of this show are and it's the phenomenal group of children who all play the music live - something that a pre-recorded message from the Lord himself reminds you pre-show.

For the tour, there are 3 teams of 12 children who alternate the roles and the set on the press night (unfortunately there were no programmes or cast information) at Curve were outstanding. Each characterise their individual role with believability and constantly they are a joy to watch. 

The story centres around Dewey Finn, a hopeless bum and washed-up musician who is struggling to pay his rent in his friend Ned's flat, when a call comes from Horace Green requesting the services of Ned to supply teach, it's Dewey who secretly takes the role and brings music to the children in his quest to win The Battle of the Bands.

Jack Black's movie performance is iconic but Jake Sharp creates his own Dewey which means you instantly forget Black's performance and soak up the sheer brilliance that Sharp brings to the role. He's a riot of energy throughout but at the centre is his connection to the children who he believes in no matter what surrounds him. Sharp is genius casting. 

Jake Sharp (Dewey Finn) and Rebecca Lock (Rosalie Mullins). Photo by Paul Coltas

Rebecca Lock impresses as the strict headmistress Rosalie Mullins who wants to uphold the standards set within the school. Lock's vocals are gorgeous, especially in the big solo number 'Where Did The Rock Go?' in the second act.

Matthew Rowland is great as supportive yet under the thumb pal Ned Schneebly, his relationship with Nadia Violet Johnson as Patty Di Marco is an interesting one as Rowland releases his own inner rocker when around Finn. There's great work from an ensemble that rotates the role of teachers and parents effectively. 

For fans of the film, the nostalgia of hearing some of those numbers is great but ALW's new score is equally as enjoyable. The stand-out number comes in 'Stick It To the Man' which is delivered with real gusto by Dewey and the children.

There's a clever set design by Anna Louizos which rotates to change the setting from classroom to other locations with ease and lighting by Natasha Katz helps in creating moments, especially in the Battle of the Bands sequence towards the end of the show. 

Whether you're a fan of the film or not, School of Rock serves up a-star musical entertainment for all the family. 

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

School of Rock continues at Curve until Saturday 4th June. Tickets are available from The tour continues thereafter with dates and booking information available from

School of Rock. Photo by Paul Coltas

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