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Review of School of Rock The Musical, Theatre Royal Norwich

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This feelgood musical rocks into Norwich this week, raising the roof and everyone’s morale.

Unlike many musicals, there’s a great plot - by Downton Abbey’s Julian Fellowes no less - so add to this music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by top American name Glenn Slater, and you’ve got a powerhouse team behind it.

You’ll know it from the 2003 film starring zany Jack Black as the work shy, rock loving Dewey Finn who sneaks into a posh school as a pretend teacher only to transform his rather uptight class into a fully fledged rock band, making friends and changing lives along the way.

School of Rock (55488171)
School of Rock (55488171)

Dewey is played by Jake Sharp and it’s a heck of a role - he’s centre stage for the entire piece and it’s a physical role, too. But it is the ridiculously talented children who steal the show, of course, giving an energy and drive that only the young can do. Not only do they play their own instruments, they sing and dance their hearts out, charming the audience as we see their characters bloom under Dewey’s caring yet unconventional ways.

Mention must also go to Rebecca Lock who plays the uptight head teacher Rosalie who undergoes her own transformation, helped along by a snog with Dewey - it’s all go.

You’ll love this show which is perfect family entertainment, with a clear message about doing what you love and being true to yourself.

The show continues until Saturday.

Sarah Hardy

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