Review of School of Rock at Glasgow's Theatre Royal
Verdict: Five stars.
WHEN musical maestro Andrew Lloyd Webber gets behind something you expect big things.
His name is synonymous with theatre success from Evita to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.
So when his children persuaded him to watch the 2003 comedy film School of Rock starring Jack Black, it allowed him to see the potential in bringing the story to a new audience - and the result of this musical theatre show is pretty spectacular.
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Whether or not you have seen the original film, watching this story on stage is just magical.
You find yourself grinning from ear to ear as you enter the chaotic world of Dewey Finn played by Jake Sharp who just wants to be a rock star but the odds are against him.
His own band have turned their back on him while his roommate Ned Schneebly (Matthew Rowland) is piling on the pressure for rent thanks to his dominating fiancée Patty Di Marco (Nadia Violet Johnson). To top it all, he gets fired from his job at the record store.
Things however change for Dewey when he takes a call for Ned - a substitute teacher - and upon hearing the earning opportunity he seizes the chance to pretend to be his friend.
Fate takes him to the prestigious Horace Green School where Dewey discover that the kids in his class can really play musical instruments, and it is here he forms his own band, the School of Rock.
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Using the talent of Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes to devise the script, the musical features three of the original songs from the movie as well as new numbers by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Glenn Slater.
Some of the standout songs include Stick It to the Man and School of Rock (Teacher's Pet).
But the real stars of the show is the young cast who just light up the stage with their antics. Their comic timing, stage presence and portrayals of these roles were simply outstanding.
Florence Moluluo stood out as goody-two-shoes Summer while Alfie Morwood had the audiences in stitches playing Billy.
Jasmine Djazel also stunned the audience with her vocals as Tomika, especially in her solo performance of Amazing Grace.
The School of Rock kids - also including Eva McGrath (Freddy), Effie Lennon Ballard (Katie), Oliver Forde (Lawrence), Joseph Sheppard (Zack), Aadi Patel (James), Ziana Olarewaju (Sophie), Nesim Adnan (Mason), Paris Banyong (Marcy) and Eden Anthony (Shonelle) - not only performed their own instruments and sung each note to perfection, but their choreography also had so much energy behind it.
They sold the story and captured the imagination of the audience which is such an impressive thing for such young actors to do.
School of Rock is fun for all the family. It is a show that teaches you to be young at heart and always to be true to yourself.
Catch School of Rock at Theatre Royal Glasgow until Saturday, March 12.