School of Rock – West End cast revealed

2-david-fynn-dewey-finn-centre-and-the-school-of-rock-kids Craig Sudden

David Fynn (centre) and the School of Rock kids. Pictures: Craig Sugden

TV comedy star David Fynn will head the cast of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s record-breaking show School of Rock – The Musical when it arrives in the West End next month.

The scene-stealing star of US cult comedy Undateable will take on the role of Dewey Finn, the wannabe rocker turned teacher originally played by movie star Jack Black, when the show begins previews at the New London Theatre on 24 October ahead of the opening night on 14 November.

Fynn, who has also appeared in hit TV series Game of Thrones and The Inbetweeners and on stage in National Theatre productions of She Stoops to Conquer and Romeo and Juliet, heads a cast that also includes Florence Andrews (West End productions of The Wizard of Oz and Wicked); Oliver Jackson (The Glee Club, Mrs Henderson Presents); and Preeya Kalidas (Bend It Like Beckham, Bombay Dreams).

The adult cast is completed by Gary Trainor as the ‘alternate Dewey’ with ensemble members Jonathan Bourne, Nadeem Crowe, Michelle Francis, Rosanna Hyland, Cassandra McCowan, Joel Montague, Andy Rees, Cameron Sharp, Tasha Sheridan, Andrew Spillett and Lucy Vandi, and swings: Charlotte Bradford, Jason Denton, Cellen Chugg James, Chris Jenkins, Alfie Parker and Charlotte Scott.

Commenting on the London company Lloyd Webber said: “I’m delighted to be bringing School of Rock – The Musical to the West End this October, following what has been a hugely exhilarating experience creating and opening the show on Broadway, where we’ll soon celebrate our first birthday.

“As many people know I’m passionate about children engaging with music from an early age, and to that end I cannot wait for UK audiences to see the remarkably talented group of young actor-musicians we have found for our production. They’re currently blowing the roof off our rehearsal rooms working with our wonderful cast of grown-ups led by the hilarious David Fynn.”

Initially booking until 12 February 2017, the show which is based on the hit 2003 film features music from the film as well as new works written by Lloyd Webber and lyricist Glenn Slater with a book by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes.

School of Rock – The Musical is 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.

ALW

Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, director Laurence Connor, actor David Fynn and librettist Julian Fellowes

Previously expected to land in the UK at the Palladium early next year, the production broke the house record at Broadway’s Winter Garden last Christmas taking over $1.5 million at the box office over the festive period.

The nationwide search to find the three teams of 13 youngsters to co-star in the London production took place earlier this year. The role of Zack will be alternated by Tom Abisgold (12 years old from Ashton Hayes), Toby Lee (11 years old from Priors Marston) and Jake Slack (12 years old from Chesham).

The role of Freddy will be alternated by Bailey Cassell (11 years old from Dagenham), Jude Harper-Wrobel (ten years old from Kings Langley) and Noah Key (12 years old from Bridgnorth).

Giles Carden (12 years old from Cobham), Oscar Francisco (12 years old from Coventry) and James Lawson (12 years old from Chiswick) will alternative the role of Lawrence.

Selma Hansen (11 years old from Willesden), Lois Jenkins (11 years old from Lewisham) and Sophia Pettit (13 years old from Morden) will alternate the role of Katie.

Isabelle Methven (12 years old from Harpenden), Lucy Simmonds (11 years old from Waterlooville) and Eva Trodd (11 years old from Bromley) will alternate the role of Summer.

Madeleine Haynes (12 years old from Barnet), Leah Levman (ten years old from Chiswick) and Natasha Raphael (ten years old from Ealing) will alternate the role of Marcy.

Alternating the role of Shonelle are Jaydah Bell-Ricketts (10 years old from New Cross), Shoshana Ezequiel (12 years old from Watford) and Amelia Poggenpoel (ten years old from Formby).

Alternating the role of Sophia are Lola Moxom (11 years old from Rochester), Mia Roberts (11 years old from Shoreditch) and Grace Schnieder (11 years old from Maida Vale).

Alternating the role of Tomika are Nicole Dube (11 years old from Colchester), Amma Ris (11 years old from Haringey) and Adithi Sujith (nine years old from Wembley).

Jobe Hart (nine years old from Edgware), Joshua Vaughan (ten years old from Birmingham) and Logan Walmsley (ten years old from Buckingham) will alternate the role of Billy.

Presley Charman (nine years old from Teddington), Lucas Chow (12 years old from Willesden) and Ben Dawson (11 years old from Portsmouth) will alternate the role of Mason.

The role of James will be alternated by Bradley Bissett (11 years old from Ramsgate), Denzel Eboji (12 years old from Dagenham) and Sonny Kirby (11 years old from Welwyn Garden City).

The role of Madison will be alternated by Zachary Dowlatshahi (ten years old from Teddington), Harry Egerton (11 years old from the Halesowen) and Jacob Swann (11 years old from Greenwich).

The show was the first new musical from a British composer and producer to make its debut on Broadway. The Broadway opening coincided with another US first when Lloyd Webber also launched a nationwide release of the rights for schools and youth groups to create their own productions of the show. A similar scheme is now planned for the UK.

School of Rock – The Musical is produced in the West End by Lloyd Webber for The Really Useful Group, Warner Music Group & Access Industries with Madeleine Lloyd Webber serving as executive producer.

The Broadway production is currently booking until 5 February 2017 and a national company will launch a US tour in the autumn of next year.

Angela Thomas

Tickets for School of Rock – The Musical are available HERE.

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