Thank goodness St Albans Musical Theatre Company has not adopted the old maxim of never working with children or animals.

If they had, they would not be raising the roof of the Alban Arena with their new musical, School of Rock, as they are this week.

And what a pity that would have been because the musical is an absolute delight, showcasing yet again what huge talent there is in St Albans and its environs.

The story of out-of-work rock singer and guitarist Dewey Finn and how he changes the lives of both children and adults at the prestigious school where he pretends to be a teacher is totally heartwarming.

Herts Advertiser: Lee Cox as Dewey Finn in School of Rock at the Alban ArenaLee Cox as Dewey Finn in School of Rock at the Alban Arena (Image: Martin Smith Origin8 Photography)

And the company gives it all to bring the story to life with the children in particular demonstrating that the future of local musical theatre will be in good hands in years to come.

They totally deserved the huge applause that greeted every number they performed and demonstrated an energy and enthusiasm that was a pleasure to observe.

In fact, by the end of the show on Tuesday’s opening night, Lee Cox, who is brilliant as Dewey, looked momentarily exhausted but the children taking the parts of his students from Team McCartney were fresh as daisies.

No doubt the same will be true when the second cast, Team Lennon, take the stage on alternative nights.

Directed by Andrea Campusano who deserves huge credit for marshaling the youngsters as successfully as she did with only one full rehearsal on the Arena stage before curtain up, School of Rock is yet another ambitious production from St Albans Musical Theatre Company.

Herts Advertiser: St Albans Musical Theatre Company performing School of Rock at the Alban ArenaSt Albans Musical Theatre Company performing School of Rock at the Alban Arena (Image: Martin Smith Origin8Photography)

It follows in the footsteps of other such acclaimed shows including Shrek, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Spelling Bee.

The company is fortunate to have such adult talent to call on. As well as Lee, who has huge stage presence as well as a great singing voice and guitar skills, the show features exemplary performances from Julie Lilley as head teacher

Rosalie Mullins, Ed Curry as Dewey’s put-upon friend Ned and Aditi Sawjani as his bossy girlfriend Patty.


And no musical production should pass without mention of musical director Matt Ballantyne and his accomplished band who bring Andrew Lloyd Webber’s score to life.

But it is the talented and exuberant children who make the show what it is and there will undoubtedly be many proud families and friends in the audience before School of Rock ends with two performances on Saturday.

Tickets for the show can be obtained from the Alban Arena on 01727 844488 or go to