Pulling an intense bass face while shredding the electric guitar and throwing shapes AC/DC’s Angus Young would be proud of, watching Odhran Sweeney morph into his ‘School of Rock: The Musical’ character of Dewey Finn was something to behold.

As we were led from backstage into the Ardhowen auditorium to chat to the Enniskillen Light Operatic (ELO) directors during rehearsals last week, we could have been mistaken for thinking we were witnessing a rock band practice for a gig, as was the authenticity of Odhran’s guitar showmanship. And that was only a sneak peak of what is to come tonight (Thursday, November 30) as ELO welcomes audiences to the theatre for the opening night of their latest production.

Inspired by the much-loved family film of the same name, ‘School of Rock: The Musical’ follows one of life’s losers - Dewey Finn.

A mid 30s, out of work, wannabe Rock Star, Dewey doesn’t have much going for him, and his roommate’s girlfriend can’t wait to get rid of the freeloader.

His life takes a turn when he answers a call meant for his roommate and finds himself working as a substitute teacher in a high-profile private school.

With no teaching qualifications Dewey decides to teach the only thing he knows - Rock and Roll!

Can he turn these kids into the Rock Stars he always wished he could be? Book your ticket’s to ELO’s fun and uplifting show and you’ll find out!

Taking a moment out of rehearsals, School of Rock director Ryan Moohan explained why this musical was the perfect choice for ELO to perform this year.

“It’s well-known as a film, it’s family friendly and it’s just got a great sort of message behind it of kids working together, working with the adults and everything. It’s just a lot of fun, in my opinion,” he said.

Ryan, who has been involved in ELO for around 15 years, on stage and off stage, is co-directing the musical with Holly Clements, who has joined the theatre group for the first time this year.

“I am a freelance drama facilitator but I’ve only come back to the scene in the last six months. So I studied at Queen’s and did it for a few years, but I’ve only just come back recently. From about June time I’ve been back on the scene,” she explained, commenting that she enjoys amateur dramatics as she likes seeing the cast grow with their skills.

“And [seeing] their confidence [grow] is really rewarding. It’s so much craic and fun, everybody has so much fun together and there’ll always be so much energy in the room as well.

“Just to work with other creatives is lovely,” said Holly, who along with Ryan, is joined on the production team by choreographer Shauneen Hamilton, musical director Moya Sweeney and conductor Stephen Crooks.

Ryan echoed this, saying: “I love everything about it, I have to say. You get a lot of great work out of a great cast.

“And it’s great to see, especially over the years, people coming on and growing. Sort of taking the skills and just bringing new life to them.”

He noted how a lot of fun this year has come through Odhran as the School of Rock lead.

“Odhran plays the Jack Black character [Dewey Finn]. It’s just been a lot of fun seeing that come to life and be so different from the film and all the different things that have gone into it.

“He’s a lot of fun to work with so he’s brought a lot to the character,” said Ryan.

Holly added that the snappiness of the script is very funny.

“It can be really quick. The cast have really moved with that and seeing a cast put on an ensemble script is fantastic as well, because the whole group kind of work together.

“There’s been some hilarious moments just from the cast kind of gelling and getting to know each other really well.

“It’s just been fun in general,” she said.

Joining Odhran on stage are cast members Nadia Stenson (Rosalie Mullins), Harry Parkinson (Ned), Amy Bogue (Patty), Abbey Wilson (Summer), Cara Murphy (Zoe), Oisin Murphy (Freddy), Niamh Murphy (Tomika), Fiadhnait Doran (Lori) and Casey McCaughey (Katie) along with the ensemble of Amelia-Rose Blair, Emma Dawson, Maddison Blair, Christine Farry, Mia Coulter, Amanda Finch, Annie Fowler, Paraic Hughes, Eva Graydon, Emily Kenny-Quinn, Lucy Hamilton, Alison Lappin, Aidan McHugh, Ji Magee, Lorcan McManus, Sarah-Mae McCusker, Hannah Naylor and Eimear Sweeney.

Ahead of tonight’s opening performance, which is the first of 11 shows over 10 days, running until December 9, both Ryan and Holly were looking forward to showing audiences the fantastic show put together by the talented ELO production team and cast.

“It’s exciting, stressful, [nerve-wrecking] - a little bit of everything,” said Ryan.

Tickets for School of Rock: The Musical can be purchased via the Ardhowen Theatre website and Box Office.

Prepare to have ELO rock your world!