School of Rock – The Musical – Lloyd Webber searches for West End cast of kids

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 06: (L-R) Laurence Connor, Julian Fellowes, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Alex Brightman during the Opening Night curtain call for "School of Rock" on Broadway at The Winter Garden Theatre on December 6, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic) *** Local Caption *** Laurence Connor; Julian Fellowes; Andrew Lloyd Webber; Alex Brightman

(L–R) Laurence Connor, Julian Fellowes, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Alex Brightman celebrate at the opening night curtain call for School of Rock on Broadway. Picture: Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

The search is on for at least 39 talented youngsters to play the child stars of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s record-breaking new show School of Rock – The Musical when it finally arrives in the UK in 2017 (although previous reports suggested autumn 2016).

The show, which is based on the hit Jack Black comedy film and features a book by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, broke the house record at Broadway’s Winter Garden Theatre with a standing-room-only run over the Christmas period.

The announcement of the takings of more than $1.5 million at the box office over the festive period coincided with the start of a nationwide search on this side of the pond to find the child stars of the show when it opens at the London Palladium.

Already a hit with the US critics, the show which was the first new musical from a British composer and producer to make its debut on Broadway, has already smashed the previous record takings of $1.36 million at the venue held by Mamma Mia! A further nine performances this week are expected to set more box office records.

Lloyd Webber said: “I had forgotten what it was to have this kind of hit. It is particularly great as we have no star names and we are witnessing personal triumphs for our brilliant kids and for Alex Brightman as Dewey, the role made famous by Jack Black. Now our team will begin searching across the UK for talented children to star in the West End transfer.”

The 13 child roles involve the youngsters playing their own instruments live on stage, as well as singing and dancing. UK performance regulations governing the use of child actors mean School of Rock – The Musical will need at least three separate casts when it arrives in London in the spring of 2017.

An adaptation of the 2003 film comedy, School of Rock – The Musical features an original score by Lloyd Webber with lyrics by Glenn Slater, and a book by Fellowes.

School of Rock – The Musical is produced on Broadway by Andrew Lloyd Webber for The Really Useful Group, Warner Music Group & Access Industries, The Shubert Organization, and The Nederlander Organization.

Angela Thomas

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School of Rock – The Musical – Winter Garden Theatre, New York – Review


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