Andrew Lloyd Webber's School of Rock opened in Brisbane recently.
It was well past her bedtime, but the eight-year-old sitting behind me stayed wide awake through it all – clearly loving it, as did her mum, and her gran.
Which is no great surprise – given the decibel level sleep would be difficult, and given the entertainment level – no-one would want to. It would help if you liked rock. But even if it's not usually your scene, School of Rock might win you over anyway. My twenty-something son summed it up as "Okay plot – absolutely brilliant everything else".
The children have more talent as singers, actors and dancers than we have any right to expect. In 2019, the Helpmann Award for Best Actor in a Musical went to Brent Hill for his performance in School of Rock. And when we watched him, he well deserved it playing the no-hoper musical tragic with a heart of gold.
Broke as always, but about to be evicted, he scams his way into teaching in a big end, high achieving school. When he discovers they all play instruments he persuades them to have as their target winning the Battle of the Bands. But how will he keep them motivated, keep the Principal unaware, and placate the parents, concerned that their children's stellar academic performance may plummet?
In so far as it needs it, Hill holds it all together with daggy goofy humour, and a great singing style.
The children steal the show and I loved them all.
The production is technically flawless, the band's music is infectiously brilliant, the comedy all works, the kids should all win Oscars some day, and everyone seemed to leave with a smile on their face.
If you have kids, take them – they'll love you for it.
And if you don't have take-able kids, whatever age you are, come anyway.