What a night!
If you haven’t seen the amazing Jack Black comedy movie, School of Rock, then 1. Where have you been hiding, and 2. Go and watch it or better still, come and see this awesome ALW stage production.
As you’d expect, the music is right where it needs to be, the staging is good, with some great translations and beautifully arranged sets. The story follows the film, with some exquisite new additions to set it firmly in the here and now (mobile phones in class anyone?)
For me though, the reason this stage show stands out from all the others I’ve reviewed recently is the cast. They are next level energetic, funny, dependable and most of all mega talented…
The kids in the show obviously rotate during its run, but if they are all like the kids we saw, then you won’t just be impressed, you’ll be amazed.
EVA McGRATH (FREDDY)
MARIKIT AKIWUMI (KATIE)
FLORRIE MAY WILKINSON(SUMMER)
Andrew Lloyd Webber himself announces the start of the show by telling the crowd, in no uncertain terms, that the kids are playing their own instruments, and genuinely they were superb. From guitar to drums to keyboard, every performer nailed it as well as the acting. And the voices of the backing singers, and in particular Souparnika Nair as Tomika, we’re sublime.
Special mentions need to go to Joseph Sheppard and Florine May Wilkinson as Zack and Summer, who played their parts perfectly.
Now we’ve mentioned the kids, we do need to give a nod to the adults, without who these adorable and talented children wouldn’t be able to shine as they do.
Alex Tomkins as Dewy Finn brought to kind the Jack Black Character from the Movie, but also had a very Chris Pratt air about his comedy and delivery. He was funny, charming and crucially he met the same energy and showmanship that his fellow (younger) cast members brought to the show.
The rest of the cast really fit into the arc of the story, helping to hurry it along, moving at pace and with humour at every turn.
All in all, this is a well written, very well acted and immensely riotous rock show for everyone!
There are shows at the Palace Theatre in Manchester up to the 15th January, and more info about the rest of the tour can be found here: