Sheffield boy, aged 11, lands West End role

A Sheffield boy has beat off competition from thousands to land a part in a West End production of School of Rock.

By Kate Mason
Tuesday, 14th May 2019, 11:03 am
Updated Tuesday, 21st May 2019, 12:25 pm
School of Rock
School of Rock

Nayan Gupta, aged 11, was selected from thousands of children following nationwide auditions to play the part of Freddy Hamilton in Andrew Lloyd Webbers West End production of School of Rock, the musical.

Proud dad Nadi Gupta said: “He plays the drums live five nights a week at the Gillian Lynne Theatre, Drury Lane in the West End of London. He has to act, dance and sing a solo in addition.

“He was recently chosen to perform at the 1000th show celebrations in March and is one of only a handful of children who has been given a second contract and asked to stay on.”

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Nayan takes drum lessons from Toni Canelli in Sheffield. Nayan also plays the violin for the National Childrens Orchestra of Great Britain, again following success at nationwide auditions.

Based on the hit film, this hilarious new musical follows Dewey Finn, a failed, wannabe rock star who decides to earn a few extra bucks by posing as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. There he turns a class of straight-A students into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band. While teaching these pint-sized prodigies what it means to truly rock, Dewey falls for the school’s beautiful, but uptight headmistress, helping her rediscover the wild child within.

School of Rock – The Musical features music from the movie, as well as new music written by Andrew Lloyd Webber with lyrics by Glenn Slater and a book by Julian Fellowes. School of Rock - The Musical is directed by Laurence Connor with choreography by JoAnn M. Hunter, set and costume designs by Anna Louizos, lighting design by Natasha Katz, sound design by Mick Potter, music supervision by John Rigby with Matt Smith as musical director.

Continuing the search for the opportunity to ‘join the band’, if you are between eight – 12 years old and play a rock instrument (guitar, bass, piano, and/or drums) or sing, further kids open auditions will take place in London.

All children must be available for contract dates which are July 2019 - March 2020. Registration and further details can be found by contacting Jessica Ronane Casting at [email protected] or at

Performances take place at Gillian Lynne Theatre London now booking to January 2020.

Performances take place Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7.30pm, Thursday and Saturday 2.30pm, Sundays at 3pm. Prices start from £15

Student rush tickets for £10 on Wednesday evening

All ticket prices include a £1.50 restoration levy. No booking fee via official box office channels

Contact the Box Office on 020 7087 7750 or visit