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School of Rock, Broadway
© Matthew Murphy

Andrew Lloyd Webber's 'School of Rock' is coming to the West End

Andrzej Lukowski

If you’re going to make a musical adaptation Jack Black’s breakthrough 2003’s comedy film about a classic rock-obsessed loser who masquerades as a supply teacher and redeems both himself and his class of preppy charges, you’re going to want to call on a couple of wild dudes to do it, yeah? Er, no.

Broadway – which is, lest we forget, in America, a country where many people will start eyeing you up angrily if you listen to anything but classic rock – has just warmly received a new stage take on ‘School of Rock’ by that wild’n’crazy duo Andrew Lloyd Webber and Julian Fellowes.

True, Lloyd Webber’s early hits were rock musicals a la ‘Joseph’ and ‘Jesus Christ Superstar!’ and true, getting a hip young musician with no memory of the ’70s to write it would seem a bit off piste.

Still, there is at the very least something a little incongruous getting the dude who wrote ‘Cats’ and pairing him off with Fellowes – aka the dude who wrote ‘Downton Abbey’ – to write rawk songs.

Nonetheless, last night Broadway opening was a hit: amidst generally solid reviews, ‘School of Rock’ bagged itself four stars from Time Out New York.

And now a West End opening has been announced: ‘School of Rock’ will be shakin’ the rafters of the London Palladium from autumn 2016, with tickets due to go on sale next year. Could this be Lloyd Webber’s first London smash after a decade of flops? For those about to rock… you’ll have to wait a little longer.

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