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We Will Rock You The Musical Review by Lynn Carroll
Well, where do I start? I didn’t have a clue what to expect, was it a tribute band belting out Queen’s hits or a bio with music? In the event it wasn’t either of those or indeed anything near what I expected, but after reading this I will leave it to you to decide what best describes it.
There was no messing about and the show started as it very obviously meant to go on, with a Queen song but on a set that left me puzzled. However, I didn’t have to wait long to discover what the set was representing or where the story was going, a musical featuring the best of Queen’s hits but not actually telling their story.
We had entered a Dystopian world where live music, instruments and any form of presentation of musicality was frowned upon, to the extent of punishment for those who broke the rules. Everyone lived on Iplanet and interacted through technology, which those in charge deemed to be a life they should all be grateful for.
Our two hero rebels found their way to a nest of like minded individuals and there were laughs aplenty during introductions with them all taking their names from far distant memories and legends of long dead musicians and singers. I especially liked the idea of a male in a kilt named Britney Spears. Our heroes were Scaramouche and Galileo Figaro!
To tell any more of the story would have the ‘spoiler effect’ so no more descriptive paragraphs of how the story goes. But suffice to say, as in all Dystopian (so far fictional) worlds, there has to be the rebel contingent and they are intent on bringing music, real music, back to the world.
How wonderful for us and the musical that Queen had the foresight to write wonderful lyrics that fitted exactly into the story as it progressed! But yes, I jest, it is rather that the members of Queen today and Ben Elton, had the hindsight to realise what a great story they could write if the hits of yesteryear were belted out (sung is too tame a word) in the correct order. I had never paid that much attention to the lyrics but found they fitted each scenario perfectly.
The whole cast were amazing in their roles and therefore it behoves me not to mention any one member as standing out more than the rest. Despite this, everyone who sees this show will have their favourite character, and for me the character of Cliff, played by Michael McKell, stood out. His gags and innuendo (nothing like the Carry On films) were brilliant and there was much laughter from the audience. Killer Queen (Jennifer O’Leary) was suitably evil and both Galileo and Scaramouche (Ian McIntosh and Elena Skye) had stunning voices. In the end it did not matter that young people not even born during Queen’s heyday, were singing the songs of Queen, as they were pitch perfect and didn’t miss a note.
Before the show began the audience was politely asked not to sing along and I perfectly understood why, although there were parts where we were invited to sing or clap. Thunderous applause followed an ensemble rendition of We Will Rock You.
It seemed to me that many patrons that night were of an age to remember Queen but I felt this musical would appeal far, far more to the younger generation. Many subliminal messages in throw away gags and body language couldn’t fail to hit their target with regards to lives lived on tech and with global warming etc.
This is a musical for everyone though and I now leave you with my opening question as to how you would describe it if inviting a friend. Did they do Bohemian Rhapsody? I highly recommend that you go and see for yourself.
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