School of Rock presented by The IDOLS at the Little Theatre in Leicester is an absolutely joyous showcase of young talent. The show is almost sold out, but it is an absolute must-see so get your tickets fast!
When Dewey Finn, an out-of-work wannabe rock singer, pretends to be a substitute teacher at the prestigious Horace Green Prep School all he’s after is the money. But he soon learns that the fifth-grade class he’s ‘teaching’ is full of musical talent and turns them into a band to enter into the Battle of the Bands contest.
The children are all highly energetic and brilliant in their roles. I got goosebumps when the children performed ‘If Only You Would Listen’—a beautiful song exploring the students’ feelings of being misunderstood by their parents.
Mitchell Smith could give Jack Black a run for his money in his portrayal of Dewey in Tuesday’s performance. He captured the high intensity and maverick aspects of the character whilst also showcasing the softer side of the role. Mitchell clearly has excellent chemistry with all the children, further adding to his charm. He will share the role with Simon Collington.
‘You’re in the Band’ is another highlight of the show with Dewey figuring out how each student will fit in the band. Here, the talents of the young cast really shine. With guitar, bass, keyboard, and drums played live on stage by some of the children, along with all of their excellent vocals and choreography, this song is a delight to watch.
Every one of the children give it their all and it is clear to see how much they enjoy performing in the show. Each one is able to convey a clear character arc, whether it be from shy to self-confident, bossy to managerial, silent to singing, and the young cast handle it all with great aplomb.
Natasha Ann Carr plays Rosalie Mullins, the seemingly uptight and strict principal of Horace Green. Natasha’s vocals are sublime and her performance of ‘Where Did the Rock Go?’ is powerful and wrought with emotion.
Director Sam White has done an amazing job in ensuring the cast connect with each other and the audience. No easy task when many of the roles are performed by different actors on different nights.
Sam’s direction is slick. Although the show is high energy, he allows the more touching moments space to breathe for maximum emotional impact.
This production of School of Rock will have you tapping your foot and humming the tunes long after the curtains close. It is an incredibly fun production with great warmth and an uplifting spirit.