School of Rock rolled into Sunderland Empire and tore the roof off. 

Here’s what we thought when the global hit musical touchdown at Sunderland Empire… 





Based on the cult classic film from 2003 starring Jack Black, School Of Rock The Musical follows Dewy Finn, a slacker that’s desperate to become a rockstar. 

However, his rocking ways aren’t getting him very far and after getting kicked out of his latest band for not quite looking the part Dewy is down on his luck again. He’s sleeping in his friend’s apartment rent-free, with no job, no band, and, most importantly, no money.

That is until he intercepts a call meant for his pal, who’s a substitute teacher, offering him a well-paid job at a posh school. Without a second thought, Dewy decides he’s going to take the job and pretend to be his studious pal Ned Schneebly.

He knows nothing about teaching of course, but he knows he needs that money!

What ensues is a heartwarming tale of rock and roll, as Dewy inspires his class of straight-A students to fall in love with rock and compete in the Battles of the Bands against his old bandmates. 

The musical follows the narrative of the film almost exactly, apart from the 14 new songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber that complement what was naturally a music-heavy story already. 





Again, the characters are the same as in the film, with the brilliant Jake Sharp taking on the lead role as Dewy Finn. 

The London based actor certainly fits the bill in terms of looking like Jack Black’s Dewy; sporting the shabby brown hair and everyman build. 

Then as the production roars on you really get to see why they cast Jake. His mannerisms, vocal inflexions and rock ‘n’ roll scatting is vintage Jack Black. 

Jake has clearly done his homework before taking on this role, paying tribute to the mighty JB in epic fashion.

He’s no Jack Black impersonator though, Jake brings his own edge to the role with a drier sense of humour that translates perfectly to a British audience.

The real stars of the show are the kids. The 12 strong class of super talented kids absolutely tore the roof off Sunderland Empire. 

All cast members play their instruments on stage and it felt like we were watching the future stars of stage and screen up there. 

These bright kids will no doubt go on to be world-beaters after starring in this production. 





School of Rock is a foot-stomping, soul-enriching rock extravaganza that is certain to delight everybody and anybody. 

Whether you’re an avid rock ‘n’ roll fan or struggle to name even the biggest hall of famers, the infectious acting, blisteringly good soundtrack and superb playwriting makes School of Rock a multi-generational story that works for kids and parents alike – especially in a stunning setting such as Sunderland Empire.





School of Rock at Sunderland Empire runs until October 9th. Limited tickets remain and can be purchased via the link here:


Are you seeing School of Rock at Sunderland Empire? Get in touch online. Twitter: @SunderlandVibe, Instagram: @SunderlandVibe, Facebook: @SunderlandVibe.

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