Andrew Lloyd Webber has announced that academic schools in the UK and Eire can obtain the rights, free of charge, to create and perform their own productions of his latest show, School Of Rock the Musical.
This is a first for a newly opened Andrew Lloyd Webber show, and this initiative demonstrates his belief in the power of musicals in schools. Chatting to Andrew ahead of the announcement, he said: “music is an empowering force for children…it liberates, and goes across all boundaries, and it’s very, very important.”
“We’re going to make the rights available to schools, free, immediately, so that every school can perform it. We’re putting together the scores and education packs for schools to be able to use. I’m very excited about that. We have in fact done this in America, and we’ve had over 200 schools already perform it. I think it’s a great thing to do”.
Clearly very passionate about musicals and the arts in schools, Andrew says this is also something his foundation takes very seriously. “We have just under 4000 school children now with weekly music lessons and a free musical instrument” he says. “I regard this as a bit of an extension of that, and therefore to make the show available now seems to me a great thing”.
So where does the inspiration for Andrew’s initiatives come from? Well, happily, back to his own school days; “My first show was Joseph And His Technicolour Dreamcoat, which started at a school, was a school’s performance. So when it was first suggested to me as a possible thing for me to do, it did strike an enormous chord, because in a way it was sort of reliving one or two episodes of my own life: I was rather an academic at school, and I felt rather repressed myself, but once, I decided I’d change the programme of the school concert that I was due to play at, and I’d written it myself, and I played rock music rather than the classical music that they thought I was going to play, and the whole school erupted. It was a moment that changed my life, so in a way, everything that goes on with those kids on stage, and how rock changes their lives, that struck a huge chord with me, because it happened to me”.
Any schools interested in sticking it to the man should visit the School Of Rock website for full information. This will be free for productions taking place until 31 December 2017, including educations packs and music materials.
Not in school? You can still pledge allegiance to the band and book your tickets to see the hit show at the New London Theatre. In the spirit of accessibility, School Of Rock tickets are also available via our audience development initiative, Get Into London Theatre.
"Music is an empowering force for children...it liberates, and goes across all boundaries, and it’s very, very important."