North Shields students ‘rock’ Whitley Bay Playhouse stage in musical production

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Pupils and staff from St Thomas More Catholic High School performed a production of School of Rock at Whitley Bay Playhouse.

Students from a North Shields school ‘rocked out’ as they performed a production of School of Rock to an audience of almost 1,000 people.

Around 74 pupils from Year 7 to Year 13 at St Thomas More Catholic High School, took to the Whitley Bay Playhouse to perform their production of the Andrew Lloyd-Webber musical, which is based on the 2003 movie of the same name, starring Jack Black. 

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The plot of School of Rock follows an out-of-work musician named Dewey Finn, who poses as a supply teacher and enlists the young students to take part in a Battle of the Bands competition.

The North Shields school which is a member of the Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust put together the stage show, and given its success, plan to perform a theatre show as an annual event. 

Students who performed in the main cast included Kody Walker as Dewey Finn, Sam Oswald as Dewey’s friend Ned Schneebly, Katie Swabey as Ned’s girlfriend Patty Di Marco and Lily Clephane as headteacher Rosalie Mullins.

Staff members from St Thomas More Catholic High School were also involved in the production of School of Rock including; Teacher of Performing Arts Hazel Sinclair, English teacher Alex Chidambaram, Music teachers Amy Gleeson, Alyson Hodgson and Seb Jones, School Chaplain Michael Thompson and Learning Support Assistant Morgan Diamond.

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Performing Arts teacher Hazel Sinclair commented: “It was a huge team effort for staff and students.

“It was amazing to see how professional the students were on stage – like real actors and musicians. The level of performance on stage was commented on by Whitley Bay staff and audience members, who viewed it as being professional and ‘not like a school show’.”

Student Cody Latimer who performed in the pit band, said: “Being in the pit band for the musical was honestly one of the best experiences I’ve had – it’s something that will stay with me forever.”

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Pupils and staff from St Thomas More Catholic High School performed a production of School of Rock at Whitley Bay Playhouse.Pupils and staff from St Thomas More Catholic High School performed a production of School of Rock at Whitley Bay Playhouse.
Pupils and staff from St Thomas More Catholic High School performed a production of School of Rock at Whitley Bay Playhouse. | St Thomas More Catholic High School

Student Ava Appleby, who played Shanelle, said: “The friends I have made and the memories I will keep forever!”

Student Brooke Pyle added: “The musical allowed students from Year 7 to Year 13 to unite in the school community through a joint love and passion for singing, dancing and acting.”

Hazel Sinclair continued:  “We have seen each student grow in confidence, make new friends, learn new skills, and be so excited to come to school.

“The show also highlighted the importance of the Creative Arts in school and the positive impacts it brings for so many. The show was a huge success, and the audience loved it.”

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