With a reputation for helping to develop world-famous performers such as the likes of Eddie Izzard, Ed Speelers (Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones) and Hugh Skinner (Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again), Eastbourne College Drama is a force to be reckoned with.
The latest production School Of Rock erupted in a blast of colour and sound last week as the driven Dewey Finn took on the challenge of galvanising A-star academics into A-star rock legends.
Based on the hit movie, and faithful to the contemporary humour and vivacious musical score in the current West End production, the College’s show followed Deweya failed, wannabe rock star who poses as a substitute teacher to earn some extra cash.
Buzzing with energy the tunes kept on coming, from the slow and lyrical to the full-on rock riffs. Fusing the talents of all the year groups, the cast were a delight to watch as they dared to defy the system and try to win the ‘Battle of the Bands’. Backed by a full rock band and looking the part, the pupils were extraordinarily dynamic and skilful in the most technical performance the College has ever attempted.
The Friday and Saturday shows were performed in front of a packed-out College Theatre, which holds in excess of 250 seated, and tickets sold out to the public.
Henry Turnbull, who played the lead role, had an amazing experience. Initially nervous about taking on such an audacious character, he portrayed Dewey with great attention to detail, projecting the extroverted American accent with panache. Henry built a great rapport with the supporting cast and pushed himself to the limits, combining a busy schedule of schoolwork, sport and rehearsals.
Claudine Sinnett, Director of Drama at Eastbourne College and professional actor with experience in the West End and Broadway, was thrilled with the outcome and praised the cast for their hard work,
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