School of Rock
14th December 2017
Facade Productions @ Victory Academy
Ormiston Victory Academy, Costesse
Phil Ormerod and Dave Watson
Helen Curston Assistant Dave Cowie
Zoe Bradshaw and Phil Ormer
Author: Susan DuPont
Well once again you are ahead of the pack with a brand new release performed with stunning energy. Thank you very much for the invitation and the chance to be a part of yet another success story for the school.
It all begins to set the mood with the programme: a year book for class of 2017 at Horace Green giving a comprehensive look at what is happening and every participant is acknowledged with full honours and showing how many are involved in the production and the huge level of commitment.
When I see the list of 14 stage crew for once again an amazingly complex set and the total choreography and speed of the many changes, then this is a group of total rounded commitment and not just in the acting side, excellent. Loved the band hidden by set.
I have to confess to not seeing either the show or the film and therefore did not know exactly what to expect, but could see immediately the appeal to the performers especially knowing the talent, enthusiasm and energy of the group. This show offers the ages division and spread which is necessary in a schools production, with particular emphasis on the younger up and coming participants of HG1Form talents from ‘the six’. Thomas Wilson-Gotobed filled with devilment, timing for comedy, talent in vocals, movement and projection, and learning to play drums for the role of Freddie; Maisie Simmonds (Katie), again showing great presence and talent, vocals and the guitar skills needed from a cello player; Harry Lloyd as Lawrence with great comedy timing and style, definitely a player of the future; Reuben Elvin as Zack on the guitar extending the performance skills shown so brilliantly in last year’s production, another great future; a big performance beautifully honed with skills from Abigail Leighton as Summer who had it all with voice and style and the angst against Dewy; and where did that amazing voice come from in Izzy Girling of Tomika, her songs and the quality of singing just stopped the show, brilliant.
So many in the other class of year 2, and in the staff room and parents events that one cannot name all except to say that each worked out the character to add to the story and mood, some really well worked and studied cameos appearing here. The energy and commitment in all the ensemble pieces to be applauded as this production fizzed with the enthusiasm and dedication and total love of life engendered in this realisation of the show, congratulations to all involved in this noisy and obviously enjoyed time on stage. Particularly in the second half energy excelled in movement and fast pace enjoyment. A really good ‘company’ involvement for all in the school.
Congratulations to Georgia Bowden as Ms Mullins the Principal: she maintained her stance with dignity, just dropping the level in that one well developed scene giving us the sympathetic feel, she dominated the school throughout with personality and strong vocals in a role not really to be loved.
On the outside as two ex-students, Ned Schneebly from Sol Childs the friend of Dewey and taken advantage of, gave a measured and well-thought foil to what is happening around him, and also tries to placate a strident girl-friend Patty from Olivia Gotts in a strong performance, a couple of high standard performances offering a contrast to the school scenes.
And topping all the performances, at 15 years the energy levels OTT, the total commitment with learning guitar for the role, the huge projection of vocals and personality and complete domination of stage throughout (and he is hardly off stage), Isaac Scott as Dewey Finn will never find a role so well suited or so fulfilling and using all talents as this one, quite brilliant throughout.
I must also mention how impressed the public must feel on the total package evening with the smartly uniformed and helpful FOH adding to the whole impression of Ormiston Victory Academy and the pride felt by the staff and students alike of the whole undertaking.