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1 December 2017

School of Rock Review: 'We laughed, we cried, we rocked!'

Exactly a week ago, I was watching the Year 8 musical finally take to the stage, yet I am never sure who is more nervous – director or actors? Somehow, I always know that the children will pull it all together, although with this production, the journey from the June auditions to the final dress rehearsal in November certainly rocked along, energy building from the moment the children first heard the songs, so I never truly doubted that it would be anything but a success.

As the show is currently touring the West End, the pressure was on to provide a show that would live up to the expectations of our audience. I think that from the moment the audience entered the auditorium and heard the energetic rock music, they knew they were in for a treat.

The opening song, accentuated by smoke, pulsing drums and live guitars played by the pupils, created an atmosphere of what was to come.

As the play progressed, the audience found themselves following the life of Dewey Finn, a down-on-his-luck wannabe rock star. Max Earp confidently reprised the role, evidently inspired by the film’s original actor, Jack Black. The pace gradually built, and by the interval it was obvious that this production had bounds of energy, vibrancy and a cast who were determined to put every ounce of effort into getting it right.

The vibrant soundtrack completed the performance, with the songs ‘You’re in the Band’ and ‘Stick it to the Man’ becoming firm favourites. Looking back, you can clearly see that amount of energy that went into the show. All of the pupils were practically jumping with excitement!

The acting was focus and delivered with skill. All pupils spoke with attention to detail, intonation and perfect timing, especially within the songs. There were many moments that brought a smile to the entire audience, but also moments of thought and reflection.

The musical number, ‘If Only You Would Listen’ made us all realise that even within our hectic lives, we must always make time to listen to our children.

The play’s Head teacher, Miss Mullions, played by super talented Bella Salmons, engaged us all with her confident vocals and natural expression on stage. Her solo, ‘Where Did the Rock Go?’ certainly brought a tear to many eyes.

The final scenes, which saw the children perform at the Battle of the Bands, raised the roof of the Arts Centre, and had the audience rocking in their seats.

It is always sad when a show must come to an end, the sets dismantled, props stored away for winter, and costumes boxed away for another year. However, it is delightful to hear the pupils continuing to hum the tunes while walking to class, or performing dance routines in the playground. These shows certainly create memories that will live on in the pupils, parents and staff involved.

The spirit of rock was certainly with King’s Hall on this occasion and will remain with us for years to come. Congratulations Year 8, you rock!

Miss L Keirle, Head of Drama

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