School of Rock and Dreamgirls – Two of London’s Newest Musicals

January is normally a month for not going out.  Not for me I was very lucky and able to see two of London’s newest musicals, School of Rock and Dreamgirls.

SCHOOL OF ROCK at The New London Theatre

School of Rock is a musical based on the film starring Jack Black.  Although I wanted to see School of Rock I was not expecting anything special.  To be honest being Andrew Lloyd’s Webber’s newest production I was curious rather excited.

However, within the first fifteen minutes School of Rock had exceeded my expectations and I knew that this show was something special.

Throughout the performance I was totally in awe of the talent of the young children.  At the beginning they are playing classical instruments such as violin and piano.  However, as the story evolves, their musical talents are discovered by their ‘fake’ music teacher. They form a band and the same children which were playing classical instruments are now playing keyboards, drums, and guitar.  After the show I kept asking myself how can children so young be so talented.

With a title such as School of Rock, you may just as I was be expecting rock music throughout.  This is not the case and there is a nice balance of both rock and musical tunes.  Some of the melodies had echoes of some of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s other musicals.

The New London Theatre is a fairly modern theatre and has a very spacious bar/meeting area.  The seats are also very comfortable and due to the design of the theatre you have a good view of the stage no matter where you sit.  My only complaint is the lack of ladies toilets.  There were large queues at the interval and some people missed the start of the second half.

School of Rock

School of Rock The Musical at the New London Theatre

 

We most definitely need shows such as School of Rock.  These allow a platform for the stars of tomorrow to show us their talents.  If this musical is anything to go by we will have some very talented actors, actresses and musicians on our stages in the future.

DREAMGIRLS at The Savoy Theatre

Do you every worry that a play or musical might not live up to your expectations?

Following all the hype about Dreamgirls and Amber Riley I thought I might be disappointed.  So much that the thought of travelling to London on a cold, icy afternoon made the show even less appealing.  However, I braved the cold and tried to ignore the thoughts of a late night/early start to work the next morning and went with an open mind.

Dreamgirls is a broadway musical about a female singing group called The Dreams.  Initially The Dreams are signed up as a backing group but then make it own their own.  Amber Riley plays the lead singer but as the story unfolds leaves the group.  There are some very powerful numbers and Amber’s solo performance of the song And I Am Telling you, is outstanding.  One of my favourite moments in the show is when Amber is in competition with The Dreams as they both belt out One Night Only.  I particularly liked the harmonies during the song called Family.  The musical is very glitzy and there are lots of costume changes for The Dreams.

I have been to the Savoy Theatre many times and on this occasion I sat in the Dress Circle.  All of this area was very cold and I had my coat wrapped around me.  Also I did not find the seats particularly comfortable and there was very little leg room.

Dreamgirls

Dreamgirls at The Savoy Theatre, The Strand

 

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