WATCH: Alnwick school rockers smashing records with new musical

The latest Alnwick high school musical has broken record ticket sales and there is still more than a week until the opening night.

The traditional spring musical at the Duchess’s Community High School has built a huge following over recent years but never have tickets been snapped up so quickly.

Rock of Ages rehearsals at Duchess's Community High School, Alnwick.

Rock of Ages rehearsals at Duchess's Community High School, Alnwick.

This year’s offering, Rock of Ages, has attracted such interest that less than 60 seats remain from a total of 1,300 over five performances from Wednesday, March 2, to Saturday, March 5, including a Saturday matinee. And with the band being elevated to a position in the centre of the stage, there are more places available in the auditorium than ever before.

The show’s director, head of English and drama at the school, Martin Allenby, described the rush for tickets as phenomenal and thanked the community for its support. He was also full of praise for the young actors, dancers, musicians and supporting students and staff.

“We are amazed by the outstanding support that the community has given us for our show, with ticket sales at a record level, with only 60 left for the entire run,” he said.

“A number of students are joining our show for the first time replacing some of our old hands and we are very excited to see what they can bring to our production. We are very excited by the standard of singing and performing quality that we have.

Rock of Ages rehearsals at Duchess's Community High School, Alnwick.

Rock of Ages rehearsals at Duchess's Community High School, Alnwick.

“As always, it is a jukebox musical for us this year, perhaps our last before we move more into the traditional musical vein from next year.”

He said rehearsals, which have been ongoing since January, have been going very, very well.

“We take great pride in our musical and dramatic heritage that we have worked on over the past 16 years,” said Mr Allenby. “We are an Artsmark Gold school and we want to produce work that is Artsmark Gold as much as we possibly can.

“Of course, we have a wonderful relationship with the Alnwick Playhouse, delivering some of theatre studies lessons from there during the week and putting on our performances twice a year. The opportunities that are afforded to our students by these extra-curricular activities are critical because it sees them developing their confidence, developing their natural talent and reminding our community about what wonderful young people we are fortunate to work with on a day-to-day basis.

“It’s a real testament to us that a number of our students are working professionally in the fields of drama or musical theatre and we hope to continue our wonderful heritage moving forward into the years coming up.”

The school will be one of the first UK amateur groups to be granted the rights to perform the hit West End musical Rock of Ages.

It is overflowing with some classics rock numbers from the ’80s, including Don’t Stop Believin’, We Built This City, The Final Countdown and Here I Go Again.

You’ll have to be quick to snap up one of the last tickets, which can be purchased from the Playhouse box office on 01665 510785 or via the website

Previous Duchess’s High School productions have included A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Disco Inferno, Cyrano de BergeracReturn to the Forbidden Planet and Back to the ’80s.