Today, rehearsals begin for the new West End cast of School of Rock – The Musical.
Stephen Leask, having played the role of alternate Dewey since May this year, will now lead the cast as Dewey Finn from 15 November 2017, as the show enters its second year in the West End. Joining Leask at the New London Theatre will be Alan Pearson as Ned Schneebly, Michelle Francis as Patty Di Marco, currently a member of the ensemble, and Craig Gallivan as the alternate Dewey Finn. Florence Andrews will continue as Rosalie Mullins alongside the three teams of thirteen kids who make up Dewey’s band. The ‘grown up’ cast is completed by ensemble members Nick Butcher, Cassandra McCowan, Jessica Louise Parkinson, Andy Rees, Cameron Sharp, Jake Sharp, James Smoker, Wendy Somerville, Andrew Spillett, Hannah Stratton and Alex Tomkins with swings, Paul Kemble, Laura Medforth, Billy Mitchell, Tasha Sheridan and Joshua St. Clair.
Before joining the School of Rock company Stephen Leask’s previous theatre credits include Robin Hood at The Egg, Theatre Royal Bath, One Man, Two Guvnors at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, A Little Hotel on the Side for Theatre Royal Bath, Potted Panto at the Vaudeville Theatre, The Secret Garden for Birmingham Rep and Troilus and Cressida for the Royal Shakespeare Company. Leask is a member of the Merely Players, a theatre company dedicated to producing accessible productions of Shakespeare. His television appearances include Nightmares, Doctors, Our World War, The Intern and EastEnders.
Based on the iconic hit movie and with a rocking new score by Andrew Lloyd Webber, School of Rock – The Musical follows slacker and wannabe rock star Dewey Finn turn a class of straight-A 10 year old students into an ear popping, riff scorching, all conquering rock band! Dewey poses as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school to make ends meet, and when he discovers his fifth graders’ musical talents, he enlists his class to form a rock group and conquer the Battle of the Bands. As Dewey falls for the beautiful headmistress, can he and his students keep this special assignment secret as they learn to fully embrace the power of rock?
Based on the smash hit 2003 film of the same title, School of Rock features music from the movie, as well as new music written by Andrew Lloyd Webber with lyrics by Glenn Slater and a book by 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, music supervision by John Rigby with Matt Smith as musical director.
Photo: Tristram Kenton