Alnwick students are getting ready to rock you

Here we go again! The countdown has begun for the latest in a long line-up of Alnwick high school musicals, which have proved a big hit over the years.

The talented students from Duchess’s Community High School have started rehearsals for their March show, Rock of Ages.

Matty Potts and other cast members start rehearsals for Rock of Ages at the Duchess's Community High School, Alnwick. Picture by Jack Carrigan

Matty Potts and other cast members start rehearsals for Rock of Ages at the Duchess's Community High School, Alnwick. Picture by Jack Carrigan

And they will be one of the first UK amateur groups to be granted the rights to perform the hit musical.

It promises to have audiences rocking all over the Playhouse – it is packed with karaoke classics from the ’80s, like Don’t Stop Believin’, We Built This City, The Final Countdown and Here I Go Again.

As ever, the latest cast members have hard acts to follow after the incredible, sell-out success of Disco Inferno , Back to the ’80s, Return to the Forbidden Planet and Grease, among others.

The show’s director Martin Allenby, head of English at the school, said: “We are really excited to be under way, preparing for our spring musical production Rock of Ages.

Rehearsals start for Rock of Ages at the Duchess's Community High School, Alnwick. Picture by Jack Carrigan

Rehearsals start for Rock of Ages at the Duchess's Community High School, Alnwick. Picture by Jack Carrigan

“This is a show that we have wanted to do for a long time – it is demanding from a vocal point of view and more than ever puts the band at the heart of production.

“Rehearsals began this week and we have a vast array of new talent stepping into the shoes of the excellent students who have gone before them. We are excited to once again give new talent a platform to show our community what they can do.

“We believe we are one of the first amateur groups to be granted the rights to perform this show in the UK and, after such a long and successful run on Broadway and the West End, we can’t wait to re-interpret its success and bring it to the Alnwick Playhouse stage.”

Set in Los Angeles around 1987, it charts the relationship between Drew and Cherie, two young rockers with big dreams to be as successful as their hero Stacee Jaxx and his band Arsenal. It is set in the famous Bourbon Room run by Dennis Dupree and his right-hand woman Lonny Barnett, whose club’s future is threatened by the real estate German developers Helga Klinemann and her son Franz.

Amy Barrett in the first rehearsal for Rock of Ages at the Duchess's Community High School, Alnwick. Picture by Jack Carrigan

Amy Barrett in the first rehearsal for Rock of Ages at the Duchess's Community High School, Alnwick. Picture by Jack Carrigan

The musical charts the fight to keep the Bourbon Room open, the attempts to make it big in the music world and to keep ‘rock’ at the heart of The Sunset Strip.

“We hope to have Alnwick on its feet and rocking out to some incredible music,” said Mr Allenby. “This is the first musical for our new head of music Susie Cochrane and we continue to try to maintain our high standards in the creative arts area. Creative arts are so important to us as a school and a community, and they are a vital part of our school life, giving all of our young people, whether it be on the stage, in the band, set designing, publicity, directing, costume making, dancing or in sound and lighting, a chance to show off their skills and shine in front of our community.

“And we are delighted to continue our excellent relationship with the Playhouse itself.

“The tickets have gone very well since going on sale at the beginning of January and we hope people will come out and support us.”

Jacob Crooks in the first rehearsal for Rock of Ages at the Duchess's Community High School, Alnwick. Picture by Jack Carrigan

Jacob Crooks in the first rehearsal for Rock of Ages at the Duchess's Community High School, Alnwick. Picture by Jack Carrigan

There will be five performances of Rock of Ages at the Alnwick Playhouse at 7.30pm from Wednesday, March 2, to Saturday, March 5, with a 2pm matinee on the Saturday. Tickets can be purchased from the Playhouse box office on 01665 510785 or via the website www.alnwickplayhouse.co.uk

The rock ’n’ roll promotional video (attached) was produced by the students.

INITIAL CAST LIST

Key characters: Drew – Sean Elliott; Sherrie – Daisy Hope; Lonny – Amy Barrett; Dennis Dupree – Fraser Wright; Stacee Jaxx – Billy Swan; Justice Charlier – Cerys Williams; Regina – Sophie Murray; Helga – Charley Anstee; Franz – Dan Thomassen.

Arsenal: Guitars – Jacob Crooks, Anthony Newman; Keyboards – Izzy Maxwell; Bass – Alex Rae; Drums – Dan Lyst.

Chorus: Ethan Allan, Izzy Baker Cresswell, Bea Barnes, Lexy Bee, Joe Bennett, Hannah Breeze, Georgia Brown, Megan Brown, Ula Campbell, Jenny Clapcott, Harry Clark-Thompson, Cora Drummond, Oscar Elliott-Selkirk, Isaac Ellis, Lucy Embleton, Michael Head, Xenia Johnson, Martin Latto, Rachael Latto, Clarissa Laude-Frost, Isaac Mills, Isabell Niles, Ella Paul, Becca Pitcher, Matty Potts, Harriet Renner, Anna Simpson, Courtney Swain, Sarah Walker, Oscar Wilson.

Dan Lyst in rehearsals for Rock of Ages at the Duchess's Community High School, Alnwick. Picture by Jack Carrigan

Dan Lyst in rehearsals for Rock of Ages at the Duchess's Community High School, Alnwick. Picture by Jack Carrigan

Assistant director: Sam Murray

Assistant musical director: Dan Lyst