Venue: Dominion Theatre LondonShow Times:
Duration: 2hrs 45mins, including 1 interval
Admission: Recommended age of 10+. The theatre will not admit children under 4
Our Review of We Will Rock YouWe Will Rock You, from Ben Elton and Brian May, is set in 2302, on an Earth where all music is computer generated, and regulated by the capitalist totalitarian rulers, Globosoft. The premise is instantly recognisable: in Simon Cowell’s music industry, the talent of the individual is becoming increasingly irrelevant. Unfortunately, there are only a small handful of Queen songs which fit, ‘Break Free’, ‘One Vision’, and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. Beyond this simple idea, there is little more to the plot, so your view of the musical will be almost entirely subject to your love, or otherwise, of Queen.
In its favour, the musical is densely packed with songs, performed with loyal adherence by the band to Queen’s originals. However, the plot twists in lots of unlikely directions to accommodate them. This is clear in the romance between Galileo and Scaramouche, which is shaped so as to provide Scaramouche with some weak sexual innuendos, funny at first but which quickly tire, and to accommodate famous tunes which wouldn’t fit anywhere else, such as ‘Hammer to Fall’. The love story itself is implausible, too abruptly changing direction. The two leads chase each other pointlessly round the stage, looking unconvincingly querulous or desirous.
The issues about modern music are thought provoking, but the weakness of the story does not do them justice. The variable suitability of song and plot means that the show will not be as enjoyable for strangers to Queen, who will find the songs largely irrelevant. Teenage and adult fans of Queen will all enjoy it, though this is with greater thanks to the merit of Queen themselves, as the talent behind the songs, than Ben Elton, who wrote the story.
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We Will Rock You Trailer - A Taste of the Show
List of CharactersGalileo Figaro - He is the leader the Bohemian rebels have been searching for. Lyrics from the past just come into his head, and he knows the ‘sacred texts’, Bohemian Rhapsody, without having read them.
Scaramouche - A misfit within the gaga girls, she dresses all in black. She gets herself incarcerated, and joins up with Galileo, who christens her Scaramouche
Brit - The craziest, loudest, most passionate of the Bohemians, Brit names himself after ‘rock ‘n’ roll legend’ Britney Spears. He will stop at nothing in the fight for his cause
Meat - Brit’s ‘chick’, she names herself after Meat Loaf. She will stand by Brit to the end, and is also a passionate rock ‘n’ roll believer
Pop - An old-timer Bohemian, Pop is a part of the furniture in the Seven Seas of Rye, the place to which all rebels are banished
Killer Queen - The scary, sexy, merciless ruler of Globosoft. Her goal is to eradicate the Bohemians to stop the quest for the hidden music in its path
Khashoggi - The commander of the Globosoft police, employed to do the Killer Queen’s bidding. He has a taste for power and suffering, but is at the mercy of the Killer Queen’s whims.