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School Of Rock - Derngate, Northampton

Get ready to stick it to the man as the spectacular School of Rock – The Musical is rocking out at Derngate Theatre, Northampton this week.

Based on the hilarious hit movie, this new musical follows Dewey Finn, a failed, wannabe rock star who decides to earn a few extra bucks by posing as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. There he turns a class of straight-A students into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band. Dewey’s dream of winning battle of the bands can come true if he can get his class to qualify. While striving for his dream, he leaves an impression on children, teachers and parents more than he ever intended. The show features 14 new songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber and all the original songs from the movie; this smash delivers guitar riffs that would be at home on any Monsters of Rock stage. The first voice you hear is Andrew Lloyd-Webber saying that ‘Yes – the young actors performing on stage ARE playing their instruments.’

The lead of Dewey Finn is played by Jake Sharp and he exceeds any expectations and smashes it. He makes it look so much fun on stage you want to jump up and join him. Jake blows the myth of never working with children or animals…he looks like he loves working with the kids…and plays the coolest teacher that we all wish we had when we were at school. Jake proves that its whats in your heart that counts; anyone can be a rocker.

Miss Mullins is the principal at Horace Green and is played by Rebecca Lock. What a talent this woman is. She plays the straight laced Mullins with precision and reminds me of Mary Poppins with her strict and posh ways. Rebecca is so talented she even gives us a bit of Opera; but her singing Stevie Nicks totally rocks it out. Matthew Rowland plays geeky, timid Ned who is under the thumb of his girlfriend, Patty. I love how Matthew lets Ned grow and stand up to Patty allows himself to finally show his love of rock music.

The sets were clever and felt an easy transition between scenes. The script is sharp, current and funny and the whole cast look like they are having a fun time. But the real stars of the show are the young actors and musicians. Wow! The talent on that stage is phenomenal. They are making straight A’s for sure. Tonights cast were: Isaac Forward(Freddy), Daisy Hanna(Katie), Angus McDougall(Lawrence), Harry Churchill (Zack), Dereke Oladele(James), Ruthie Heathcote(Sophie), Wilf Cooper(Billy), Evie Marner(Summer), Tia Isaac(Tomika), Caelan Wallington(Mason), Elodie Salmon(Marcy) and Kyla Robinson(Shonelle). Summer is played by Evie Marner and she really is a force to be reckoned with. These young actors are the stars of tomorrow and I hope to see them in the West End in a few years time.

School of Rock - The Musical is so much fun and suitable for all ages. Expect amazing guitar riffs, a cool bass and drumming beats you are foot-tapping to in your seat. Rock has no reason, Rock has no rhyme, you’d better get to the Derngate on time!

School of Rock is playing at Royal & Derngate until 11 June 2022


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