PUPILS at Highworth Warneford School have been rocking the crowd with four sell-out performances of the West End show School of Rock.

Seventy students from all year groups re-created the 2003 film starring Jack Black, now a hit West End musical, with teachers and parents celebrating the impressive talent on display and professional feel of the show.

James Hanson, head of music at Highworth Warneford School and producer of the show, told the Adver: “The support was incredible, and we were blown away by the performers. It’s exactly the same as if you went to watch in the West End, they even use the same score for the music and the actors use the same lines.”

Directors Kim Mcklennan and Harry Burt had to get permission from the original writer, Andrew Lloyd Webber, to faithfully replicate the show.

Special mention was given to Rhys Taylor, who played the lead character Dewey Finn, a guitarist who becomes supply teacher at a prestigious school and gets the pupils to form a rock band. “For a kid who was only 16 he was ahead of his years in terms of performance quality,” added Mr Hanson.

Rhys auditioned for the musical in November but because of the pressure of exams for his GCSEs he didn’t even start learning his lines until June.

Rhys, 16, from Stratton St Margaret, said: “Everybody played their part and it ended up coming out really well. Everyone I talk to has just really enjoyed it.

“Getting those positive reactions from the audience is what I live for when it comes to acting.

“I had only dipped my toe into rock and roll before the show, so I ended up listening to lots of new music.

“It’s my dad’s favourite genre of music, and I’ve definitely got into rock after the musical. AC/DC and Motorhead stick out the most.

“I play piano but still can’t play the guitar. I had to pretend for the whole show. But I’m very proud that I’ve convinced a lot of people... I’ve been told how good I am at playing guitar!”

Rhys’ parents said they were both really proud of him and thanked the teachers for their efforts in putting on the production. Rhys will start a BTEC in performing arts at Cirencester College in September and hopes to go to drama school to pursue his dream of being an actor.