What could be more fun than a school where you get to play loud music, dance, sing and generally have a good time? These Stagecoachers agree it’s great!
In Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new Olivier award-winning musical, School of Rock, a teacher helps some straight-A students form a band and the show’s young stars are having a fantastic time – and it shows! The production has broken theatre box-office records and had rave reviews, with one critic describing it as: “the most enjoyable few hours money can buy”.
The show focuses on failed wannabe rockstar Dewey Finn, who poses as a supply teacher at a prestigious prep school to get some extra cash. Realising his pupils have some talent, he enters their ear-popping, riff-scorching ensemble into the Battle of the Bands, but the parents and headmistress mustn’t find out…
It’s the first professional role for Lucas, 13, and Presley, 9, and Nicole, 12. Lucas and Presley both play Mason, the technical whizz kid who always knows which buttons to press, and Nicole plays shy Tomika. PLUS we now have Cole, 10, Stagecoach Ascot has started in the production playing Lawrence until September. Congratulations!
“Doing the show is so brilliant and the best thing is all the friends I’ve made,” says Presley, who attends Stagecoach Twickenham. “We really get on well and see each other even when we’re not performing. I love all the big numbers we do, but my favourite is If ‘Only You Would Listen’.
“I’d been going to Stagecoach for a couple of years before this and the training really helped me to prepare for it. It gave me confidence and it also made me realise how much fun it is to be on stage!”
“I have so many favourite scenes, like when Mason persuades the headmistress to let the kids enter Battle of the Bands,” says Lucas, who attends Stagecoach Queen's Park. “I also really like the song ‘You’re in the Band’, where all the kids get to show off their talents. That really kicks off!
“I love the feeling you get at the end too, when you hear the applause, but it’s great throughout the show, having so much fun and making so many friends. I think I’ve made friends for life doing this.
“The stuff we learn at Stagecoach helps, as this show has everything – singing, dancing and acting. The shows we’ve done at Stagecoach also help, because you get used to all the elements of a production, such as rehearsals and lighting.”
“Tomika’s like a flower, in that she’s shy and quiet at first, but she blossoms throughout the show as she finds her confidence,” says Nicole, who attends Stagecoach Colchester. “I’ve learned so much doing this show and I think I’m improving all the time. The best thing is realising I’m on a West End stage and meeting so many inspirational people.
“My advice to anyone who wants to do this is dream big, but don’t just sit around – get up, work hard and do it!”
Cole joined the production of School of Rock in March and will be playing the part of Lucas until September.
School of Rock – The Musical is at the New London Theatre and currently taking bookings until May 2017. www.schoolofrock.com
Words Mary Carmichael. Photographs Tristram Kenton, Craig Sugden