Review: School of Rock, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Thomas and Rachel Howells head to Wales Millennium Centre to see the musical School of Rock based on the hit movie.

The musical tour of School of Rock, based on the hit movie and featuring new music by Andrew Lloyd Webber is currently playing Wales Millennium Centre and brought to us by a wonderfully talented company.

The plot follows failed, wannabe rock star Dewey Finn who decides to earn extra money by posing as a substitute teacher at a prep school. Turning a class of straight-A students into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band, Dewey also falls for the school’s strict headmistress and helps her unleash her inner wild-child!

School of Rock’s cast is nothing short of incredible with ensemble playing many characters supporting the core cast of children which included Rock Band members, teachers and parents.

Almost never off stage is Jake Sharp, outstanding as Dewey Finn.  I really like the way he plays the character on his journey from failed rock star to a teacher that cares for those around him.

Rebecca Locke plays headmistress Rosalie Mullins with a great deal of pomp and prissiness. Her vocal range is outstanding, and I love the way she commands at attention of everyone on stage as well as the audience in several dramatic scenes towards the shows climax.

My personal favourite character Patty Di Marco is played by Nadia Violet Johnson who had the perfect look and amount of fire for the role.

The children particularly are extremely professional. All have their own contribution to make from Hairography to playing musical instruments live on stage. Their talent, in both acting and playing their instruments, only proves they’ll be the stars of the future.

The set was one of the most intricate I have seen from a touring show in a long time.  It was very impressive how they moved the elements around so seamlessly.  Every scene is distinct and unique as backdrops are pulled down behind set pieces. Two background false walls adapt for different scenes, creating a more immersive experience. The biggest parts of the set however were the furniture, a lot more than I would expect. Every distinct area was full and real, far from the minimalism that has become very popular in many stage presentations today.

My only criticism of the show is its story.  I found at times difficult to comprehend to sit as Finn never faces any consequences for his actions. Every character, by the story climax, has abandoned everything about themselves and now submits to Finn’s own suggestions.

However, School of Rock gets an A+ on feelgood factor.

It runs at Wales Millennium Centre until class ends on Saturday May 21. For ticket details and availability visit Wales Millennium Centre’s website.

Published by Thomas Howells

The doctor said I should be in hospital for all the blood I was losing, but instead I went to drama practice

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