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West End premiere for School of Rock confirmed

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

IT HAS now been confirmed that Andrew Lloyd Webber’s School of Rock – The Musical will receive its West End premiere at the New London Theatre on November 14, 2016, following preview performances from October 24.

Based on the smash hit 2003 film of the same title, School of Rock features music from the movie, as well as new music written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricist Glenn Slater and a book by Julian Fellowes.

Down-on-his-luck wannabe rock star Dewey Finn poses as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school to make ends meet. When he discovers his students’ musical talents, he enlists his fifth-graders to form a rock group and conquer the Battle of the Bands.

A nationwide search is underway to find the three teams of thirteen young performers who will join the cast to rock out live on stage each night.

School of Rock –The Musical received its world premiere at the Winter Garden Theatre in November last year and has subsequently garnered 20 Broadway Theatre Award nominations including four Tony nominations – Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score and Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical.

At the Broadway opening guests included Mick Fleetwood and Stevie Nicks, Helen Mirren and Sting as well as the complete “kids” cast from the original School of Rock film. Earlier this month Jack Black, who played the role of Dewey in the original film, met with the US cast and declared the show “a Broadway masterpiece.”

In October last year, School of Rock – The Musical released a 360° music video, shot in a real NYC classroom and featuring the song You’re in the Band. It generated over 1 million views in three days on YouTube and Facebook combined, the fastest Broadway video ever to reach 1 million views.

Over the 2015 holiday period, School of Rock twice broke the house record at the Winter Garden Theatre, previously home to Cats and Mamma Mia! And in April, Grammy Award-winning Fleetwood Mac singer Stevie Nicks made her Broadway debut in the musical when she surprised the audience by taking to the stage and singing Rhiannon with the musical’s kid band.

Alex Brightman and the kid band in the Broadway production of School of Rock. Photo credit: Matthew Murphy.

School of Rock – The Musical was the first original British musical ever to premiere on Broadway.

The Broadway opening was accompanied by another US first, when Andrew Lloyd Webber also launched a nationwide release of the rights for schools and youth groups to create their own productions of School of Rock – The Musical using the exact same score as the Broadway show. Here in the UK, plans are well advanced to replicate that success ensuring that schools, colleges and youth groups can look forward to being able to license School of Rock – The Musical very soon.

School of Rock — The Musical is produced in the West End by Andrew Lloyd Webber for The Really Useful Group and Warner Music Group & Access Industries, with Madeleine Lloyd Webber as Executive Producer.

The production will be directed by Laurence Connor, with choreography by JoAnn M. Hunter, set and costume designs by Anna Louizos, lighting design by Natasha Katz, sound design by Mick Potter and music supervision by John Rigby.

Image (bottom): Alex Brightman and the kid band in the Broadway production of School of Rock. Photo credit: Matthew Murphy.

NB: School of Rock – The Musical is initially booking to February 12, 2017. Public booking will open on May 25, 2016.

Tickets: £25 – £75 with £10 off all ticket prices for previews. All ticket prices include a £1.50 restoration levy. No booking fee via official box office channels. To book, call 0844 811 0052 or visit uk.schoolofrockthemusical.com/.

Times: Until November 5, 2016 – Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm, Saturdays at 2.30pm. From November 7 – Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7.30pm, Thursday and Saturday at 2.30pm, Sundays at 3pm.

Running time: Approximately 2 hours 30 minutes (including interval).