The coveted role of Dewey and an amazing cast of 36 children were announced earlier today for the Australian premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Broadway and West End smash hit rock musical, School of Rock – set to play at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne from 31 October 2018.
Sydney-based actor, composer and musical theatre performer Brent Hill will play wannabe rock star Dewey Finn. With an impressive lineup of musical theatre credits including multiple awards and nominations for his starring roles in Little Shop of Horrors, Once and Rock of Ages, alongside numerous appearances with The Production Company. Hill was recently seen alongside Hugo Weaving in The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui at Sydney Theatre Company and in Eddie Perfect’s Vivid White at Melbourne Theatre Company.
“After an exhilarating auditions process reviewing over one thousand submissions from children all over Australia, we are thrilled to have discovered a sensational line-up of 36 guitar shredding, drum thumping, bass slapping and keyboard playing prodigies,” said GWB Entertainment, School of Rock Producers.
“Along with the international creative team, we were blown away by the talent displayed, which has taken the standard musical theatre adage of triple threat (singer, dancer, actors) to ‘quadruple threats’ – singer, dancers, actor, musicians. We’re also delighted that one of Australia’s great musical theatre talents Brent Hill will be leading our company as Dewey Finn.”
Hill will be joined on stage each night by an extraordinarily talented group of young Australian performers, aged nine to 13 years of age, who will deliver scorching riffs, pounding drums and all-live rock. After a nationwide search, these 36 performers will alternate in the following roles:
Ben Swissa, 12, NSW
Jayden Tatasciore, 9, WA
Zane Blumeris, 11, VIC
Kempton Maloney (Wind in the Willows), 9, VIC
Bailey Landeg, 11, TAS
Ethan Stephenson, 12, VIC
Caleb Elbourne, 11, VIC
Orlando Schwerdt (Carmen, Matilda), 12, VIC
Heath Jelovic (Parsifal, Turandot, The Secret River), 13, NSW
Samantha Zhang, 10, NSW
Remy Grunden, 10, VIC
Tiana Mirra (Matilda, Strictly Ballroom), 13, VIC
Ava McInnes, 10, VIC
Stephanie Kipnis (Matilda), 10, VIC
Yvette Pugat, 10, VIC
Bella-Mia Bortolin, 11, VIC
Chihana Perera (Matilda), 12, VIC
Riley Thomas, 10, VIC
Annie Jones (The Sound of Music), 10, VIC
Kayla Muir (The Sound of Music), 10, VIC
Riya Mandrawa, 10, VIC
Ashlyn Norman, 11, VIC
Ava Rose Houben-Carter, 10, VIC
Rachel Kipnis (The Sound of Music, Les Misérables), 13, VIC
Lucia Schwerdt (The Wind in the Willows), 10, VIC
Maya Corbett, 10, VIC
Ruby Moore (The Sound of Music), 11, VIC
Hudson Sharp (Matilda, Dream Lover), 12, VIC
Amon Prete (Dream Lover, Carmen), 12, VIC
Lenny Thomas (Priscilla), 11, VIC
Aston Droomer (The Bodyguard, The King And I), 10, VIC
Oscar Mulcahy (Dream Lover, Kinky Boots), 11, VIC
Elijah Slavinskis (Kinky Boots, Priscilla), 9, VIC
Gabriel Ingram (The Bodyguard, Kinky Boots), 11, VIC
Zac El-Alo, 10, VIC
Lachlan Young (Dream Lover, Kinky Boots), 12, VIC
Of the Australian child cast, Andrew Lloyd Webber said: “I’ve just seen all of the audition tapes for School of Rock in Australia and I know we’ve got a really great cast. We’ve got great kids in a show that is all about how music can empower children. I’ve never had such a good time as I have had with School of Rock and I know it’s going to be fantastic in Australia too.”
Based on the hit film, this hilarious new musical follows Dewey Finn, a failed, wannabe rock star who decides to earn a few extra bucks by posing as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. There he turns a class of straight-A students into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band.
Since opening on Broadway to critical acclaim in 2015, School of Rock has been playing to packed houses and is now captivating audiences all across the US and in London’s West End. It has smashed box office records, garnered rave reviews, earned four Tony nominations, and won both the 2017 Oliver for Outstanding Achievement in Music and the 2017 WhatsOnStage Award for Best New Musical.
Featuring 14 new songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber and all the original songs from the movie, this high-octane smash delivers face-melting guitar riffs and touching romance in equally awesome doses.
School of Rock previews from Wednesday 31 October at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne. Due to popular demand, new tickets for the musical will be released on Monday 28 May 2018. For more information, visit: www.schoolofrockmusical.com.au for details.
Image: Brent Hill as Dewey Finn with the School of Rock children’s cast – photo by Jim Lee