Andrew Lloyd Webber’s West End production of School of Rock – The Musical will commence previewing at the New London Theatre from 24th October 2016 with opening night on 14th November 2016, School of Rock – The Musical is initially booking to 12th February 2017. Bookings open 25th May 2016.
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 and lyricist 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 and music supervision by John Rigby.
Down-on-his-luck wannabe rock star Dewey Finn poses as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school to make ends meet. When he discovers his students’ musical talents, he enlists his fifth-graders to form a rock group and conquer the Battle of the Bands.
School of Rock — The Musical is produced in the West End by Andrew Lloyd Webber for The Really Useful Group and Warner Music Group & Access Industries with Madeleine Lloyd Webber as Executive Producer.
New London Theatre, Drury Lane, London WC2B 5PW
Dates: 24 October 2016 – 12 February 2017
Press Night: 14 November 2016 at 7pm
Running time: approximately 2 hours 30 minutes including interval
New London Theatre
Earlier theatres on this site include the 1851 Middlesex Music Hall which was rebuilt by Frank Matcham in 1911 and afterwards renamed the Winter Garden in 1919. 1960 saw the theatre going dark, following which it was demolished in 1965. The existing theatre was designed with a third of the stalls on a rotation while the walls were designed to be movable therefore giving the New London Theatre an auditorium that was extremely versatile.
The New London theatre is built upon a site of previous taverns and music hall theatres, where entertainment has been situated since Elizabethan times. Nell Gwynn was connected with a tavern, which became called the Great Mogul by the end of the 17th century, and in an adjacent hall presented entertainment.
In 1919, the theatre was purchased by George Grossmith Jr and Edward Laurillard, the theatre was renovated and reopened as the Winter Garden Theatre.
The Vagabond King was produced in 1927, and with Fred and Adele Astaire starred in Funny Face in 1929. In 1930, Sophie Tucker played in the Vivian Ellis musical Follow a Star, and Walk This Way followed in 1923 starring Gracie Fields. 1933 saw the theatre hosting Lewis Casson in George Bernard Shaw’s On the Rocks, with 1935 bringing in Love on the Dole starring Wendy Hiller. Closure of the theatre followed in the late 1930s, before reopening in 1942. Closure occurred once again in 1959 when it was sold by the Rank Organisation to a property developer. It was entirely gutted and stayed empty until 1965 and then supplanted in 1973 by the present-day building.
The New London Theatre was designed by Paul Tvrtkovic and has a capacity on two levels to seat 960. The theatre’s auditorium first opened with a television recording of Marlene Dietrich’s one-woman show on November 23rd-24th, 1972. The theatre officially opened with The Unknown Soldier and His Wife starring Peter Ustinov, on Tuesday 2nd January 1973. It then hosted Grease with Danny played by Richard Gere. The theatre was then utilised as a television studio for several years and subsequently returned to be used as a theatre. The greatest hit up to that time was Cats the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Trevor Nunn musical, premiering at the theatre on Monday 11th May 1981 and run until finally closing in 2002.
Between 2003 and 2005 Bill Kenwright’s revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat played, closing after two and a half years on 3rd September 2005. Following this was the London transfer of the off-Broadway production, Blue Man Group, which closed on 24th June 2007. The followed The Royal Shakespeare Company’s repertory productions of The Seagull and King Lear, starring Ian McKellen. Gone With The Wind played for a fairly short run in the spring of 2008, closing on Saturday 14th June 2008 after only 79 performances.
The theatre has been owned by Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Theatre Company since 1991. War Horse opened on 28th March 2009 and is the current, and popular production.
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