Southampton gets ready for School of Rock on tour - how to get your tickets

School of RockSchool of Rock
School of Rock
Even when he’s feeling 100 per cent fit, he’s still on his knees absolutely exhausted by the end of the show, says Jake Sharpe who plays the massive Dewey Finn role in School of Rock on tour.

Latest dates include The Mayflower, Southampton from July 18-23 (tickets from the venue).

“It really is completely exhausting,” says Jake, “and I know I’m bound to say that because everyone wants to show how hard they are working but it is just so physical.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Jake is playing the role made so famous on the big screen by Jack Black in the film: “And you’ve just got to be a big kid. You have got to have that charisma that really resonates and you’ve got to have that incredibly high energy. And also the vocal side is so demanding. I can’t imagine a more challenging role than this one. And I’m on the stage most of the time. The only time I go off stage is to change out of sweaty clothes! And most of the time I’m on the stage with young actors and they are next level brilliant but they are still young children and you have to remember that. If anything goes wrong they’re looking to me so you are concentrating so much all the time. So when you get to the end of it you are just completely on your knees but that is actually really beautiful because it shows just how much you have given to it and how much you’ve had to commit to it.”

And that’s a huge part of why Jake loves doing it. He goes back a long way in the show: “I have been with it for four or five years and it feels even longer because of the pandemic.”

In the show, wannabe rock star Dewey Finn is cast out by his dive-bar bandmates and finds himself in desperate need of cash. Posing as a substitute music teacher at an elite prep school, he exposes his students to the rock gods he idolises, transforming them into a mind-blowing rock band.

“Obviously there is such an iconic look to the show but I think what we’re trying to do is to bring something more. The show is longer than the movie which means that we can get to explore more of the heart around him. You get to see more of these young characters and you get to understand the pressures on them and you get to see a little bit more of what Dewey is all about. It is about the expectations that he puts on himself but I feel that it’s also about a lot of the expectations that society puts on everyone. Lawrence the keyboard player is saying he is not cool and he doesn’t belong but Dewey says to him that he absolutely does belong. And that’s the great thing about Dewey. I think there should be more people like Dewey. He’s got such unbelievable passion for something, for live music. He doesn’t see that the rest of the world thinks he’s a bit of a loser. All he wants is to be in a band and you could think he is quite a dislikeable character. He is going all out for what he wants and he is lying and sneaking into the school but he is also so likeable with this big kid energy that he’s got and he gets his young kids to buy into that energy and buy into the ideology of being in this creative beautiful safe environment. It’s the only time anyone ever listens to them and he gives them this wonderful experience that no one else can.”