Hartlepool students rocks the stage in sell-out production delayed for two years due to Covid

A town school rocked the stage with a triumphant production based on a hit movie and stage musical.

Thursday, 31st March 2022, 4:36 pm
Updated Thursday, 31st March 2022, 4:36 pm

After two years’ worth of preparation, two rounds of auditions and rescheduling dates, High Tunstall College of Science’s School of Rock the Musical production finally took to the stage.

High Tunstall’s Creativity Faculty initially held auditions for the production back in March 2020, casting more than 50 students.

Rehearsals were about to begin just as the whole world locked down due to Covid.

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The cast of High Tunstall College of Science's School of Rock The Musical.

It meant a new round of auditions had to take place in September last year as many of the previous cast had either left for college or had outgrown their part.

Coronavirus restrictions also saw another change of date for the show. But it was third time lucky as School of Rock the Musical was performed over four days in March.

It was the first large production to take place in the college’s new theatre space.

Each night was warmly received and had sell-out performances.

Students are taught to play instruments in the musical.

The show's story followed that of the 2003 film starring Jack Black as Dewey Finn, played by High Tunstall’s Jude Thompson, who takes over the job of a substitute teacher in a private school.

There he introduces the children to rock music rather than teaching them what he is supposed to.

He goes on to lead the group to a Battle of the Bands contest.

Students from all school years took part from Year 10 pupils playing music in the foyer before the show and taking headshots of the cast, to students in Years 7, 8 and 9 making the props.

Students made props for the production.

Cast members included Naomi Park-Hanson and Honey Pidd as headteacher Rosalie Mullins, Sophie Morgan and Grace Martin as lead singer Tomika plus Scarlett Weegram and Elsa Marsden as class president Summer Hathaway.

Pupils Ashton Woodward, William Morris, Libby Hornsey and Mya Baron played Dewey’s students.

And not forgetting staff who played in the band, directed and produced the show.

Ellie Hopwood, who helped direct and produce the show, said: “The talent on stage bodes well for the future and the Creativity Faculty are excited about what the future will bring.”

Getting into character.

Future plans include a Creative Arts Festival in the summer, Open Mic Night, photography trips to Beamish, a trip to London and two more productions next year.

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