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Bryntirion Comprehensive School Performing Arts Department rocked the end of the school year with their lively and energetic performances of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘School of Rock’ from July 10th – 12th.  Over three packed nights they impressed audiences with the talent shown from the youngest Year 7 pupils to the eldest Year 13’s.  Bryntirion’s very own Jack Black, Matthew Daly (Year 13) gave a convincing and humorous performance as the lead character Dewey Finn that was very different to his emotional portrayal of the Phantom in ‘Phantom of the Opera’ last year.  Naomi Jenkins (Year 13) was once again hitting the high notes as the Headmistress, Ms Rosalie Mullins. 

New and emerging talent in the school was evident throughout the cast, with accomplished performances from Geraint David (Year 11) as the hapless Ned Schneebly and Natalie Dawson as his bossy girlfriend Patti di Marco.  Head of Performing Arts at the school, Mrs Claire Hawkes, said she was particularly delighted with the performances given by not one, but two live bands made up of pupils on stage.  The show opened with Dewey’s band No Vacancy, including pupils Adam Fuller (Year 9), Imogen Quinn (Year 10), Charlotte Lee (Year 11) and Evan Morgan-Williams (Year 13) who immediately made an impact with their polished version of “I’m Too Hot For You”. 

With a cast of around 80 pupils, there was strength and power in the chorus number “Here at Horace Green” and the high quality performances continued as Dewey Finn was introduced to his class.  The pivotal song “You’re In The Band” created great excitement as the pupils picked up their instruments and played together for the first time.  Year 7 pupils Wil Davis (keyboard) and Sam Doyle (guitar) made spectacular debuts alongside accomplished Year 8 students Phoebe Johnson (bass guitar) and Izi Strong (drums).   Together they played energetically and fluently for the rest of the show, leaving the house band free to dance in the aisles!   Many schools when performing this show have to teach their pupils to mime.  It is a credit to both the pupils and their teachers that Bryntirion were able to present such high quality young musicians who were able to play their own parts, as well as do all of their own stunts!   The other pupils in Dewey’s class sang and danced with energy and dynamism; their vitality was infectious and by the end of the show the whole audience was up on their feet and dancing each night.  Bryntirion really was a “School of Rock” for the week!