It’s no secret that I love a visit to the city of London at any given excuse. Therefore, I booked tickets to see the new musical, School of Rock, as a belated birthday present for my Dad; and why not make a day of it? We also paid a visit to the Museum of London and a stroll along from St Paul’s to Southbank before heading to the West End before curtain up.
I thought I would share those details with you as we all had a great day and you could too…
Our first port of call was the Museum of London. I have quite a secret keen interest in museums and galleries, and thanks to West End Live in Summer I was inspired to pay a visit. After having booked a theatre show with my family, this seemed like a good place to spend a few hours beforehand, as we were sure we could all find interest there and the big winner was that it was FREE!
As much as enjoy the museums/galleries of London, sometimes they can be overwhelming as they become crammed with too much to look at, especially if the layout is vast. However, thankfully the Museum of London is different. Everything is organised clearly in period order, and laid out in an easy to navigate manner. You can explore the likes of the Prehistoric, Roman, Victorian, Medieval eras, right through to the 1900s and up to the Modern day. They also open limited period exhibitions, some of which come at a small cost though. A highlight for me was the 1900s era and the ‘fashion through the years’ section, and I particularly loved the Suffragette/Votes for Women collection. See more: www.museumoflondon.org.uk
Overall, it was a museum that’s worth taking a visit to. I think it holds something for everyone and it can easily be done in 2-3 hours, with a handy location steps away from St Paul’s.
Afterwards, we took a stroll from St Paul’s to along Southbank in a search for food, ready for the free Firework Show that was part of the Lord Mayor’s Show. We managed to find a spot at Gourmet Pizza (www.gourmetpizzacompany.co.uk/southbank), which gave us affordable tasty pizza by the Thames and a prime spot for the Firework show! Clearly we were lucky in our timing with the fireworks, but I would still recommend the restaurant as it’s a prime location and is the perfect break from the riverside walk. After food, we continued into theatre land. It’s a great walk to take, as it doesn’t take long and there’s plenty of exciting sights to be seen along the way.
Finally it was showtime at School of Rock the musical! I’m pretty sure this is a story we all know, as the musical is based on the hit film of the same name. However, incase you weren’t aware it tells the story of Dewey, a man who holds onto his dreams of being a rock star while living with his friend who has moved on from those days. During the story of which, he inspires a class of youngsters into becoming a rock band…
If you know the film, the stage version is much the same – except the obvious fact of containing even more music, and having that extra in your face punchiness that theatre gives you. As well as a few more focus points of certain themes and representations, which was a great additional layer to the story.
We ended up in side seats really close to the stage, therefore we couldn’t really take in the set, which was a shame (but I guess is to be expected when you buy the cheaper tickets). However, for me personally it didn’t take away my enjoyment of the show too much as I still caught 99% of the show itself and I felt close to the action, and I just love the layout of the New London Theatre. The costume fitted the setting, and there are a few bedazzled outfits that definitely catch your eye!
The cast is outstanding. Whenever I see a show that features children, I am always in awe of their talents and this show is no exception. I loved the kids I got to see, and I’m sure their alternates are just as wonderful – I highly commend them for the energy and brilliance. They are the stars of the show. Meanwhile, David Fynn stays true to the character of Dewey, which I always imagined being difficult to see anyone but Jack Black as, but he adds his own energetic twist and humour and he could easily give Mr Black a run for his money! I really enjoyed Florence Andrews (Mrs Rosalie Mullins) and Oliver Jackson’s (Ned) portrayals of their respective characters too.
As for the music, way back when I initially heard this was to be an Andrew Lloyd Webber production, I really wasn’t sure how that would work as it felt rather different to his usual style (I mean, it’s not exactly Cats or Phantom style) but I have to say, him and his team have created a great score. There are many songs or verses taken from the film, which is fun to have kept those iconic lines and lyrics in – as well as plenty of additional songs that are just as catchy, powerful and rocking. I hadn’t actually seen a show in this “genre” of musical yet either, so it was personally refreshing in that respect, and it’s great to see shows that challenge the stereotypical idea of a musicals sound. And I left the theatre with a few songs stuck in my head, and that to me is always a good sign!
Overall, this has easily been one of my favourite new productions in 2016; and if not one of my favourites all-together. It’s great for all the family, and I like to think it opens theatre up to fans of rock or this film who may not normally see a musical! It’s bursting with laughs, high energy, feel-good fun and above all ROCK! Go and see this show, you won’t be disappointed. ★★★★ For more information or to book: schoolofrockthemusical.com
Feel free to leave a comment! Have you got any London hotspots? Show recommendations? Favourite restaurants? Are you planning to go to any of these places? Let me know!
♥ MOLLY THE BLOGGER ♥