“ Musical by Queen and Ben Elton, featuring over 30 Queen songs. Directed by Christopher Renshaw, with choregraphy by Arlene Phillips and designs by Mark Fisher and Willie Williams. We Will Rock You is a jukebox musical, based on the songs of Queen and named after their hit single of the same name. The musical was written by English comedian and author Ben Elton in collaboration with Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor. The story takes place in a tongue-in-cheek dystopian future where originality and individuality are shunned, and a lone "Dreamer" appears who can fulfil a prophecy that will enable the return of rock 'n roll. „
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For Valentines Day this year, I decided to buy my other half tickets to see We Will Rock You at the Dominion Theatre in London.
Six years ago, the remaining members of the group Queen (obviously minus Freddie Mercury) joined together with Ben Elton and an internationally renowned creative team to create the stage show We Will Rock You. This musical features 31 of Queen's hits.
The first show of We Will Rock You took place in May 2002 at the Dominion Theatre on Tottenham Court Road in London. This show has now been running for the last six years and all shows are still sold out so that in itself goes some way to showing you just how popular We Will Rock You is.
The Dominion Theatre
The Dominion Theatre is located on Tottenham Court Road, literally just opposite the Tottenham Court Road tube station so it is very easily accessible. In fact, it is only a ten minute walk from Leicester Square. Although the Dominion Theatre is pretty centrally located, it is actually quite a way away from all the other theatres, the area which is often referred to as 'Theatreland'.
The Dominion Theatre was built in 1928 and was converted into a cinema in 1930. Charlie Chaplin's City Lights ran in this very theatre with Charlie Chaplin making a personal appearance. As well as there being the theatre itself, there is also a dressing room block and administration rooms on the right hand side of the building and then there are shops, offices and residential buildings on the left of the theatre.
The Dominion Theatre is able to seat 2060 people and if one of the larger theatres in London.
We Will Rock You is set in 2046 and all forms of music and musical instruments have been banned from Planet Mall (formally known as Planet Earth). Globalisation has taken over and people are expected to wear the same clothes, act in the same way and have the same thoughts! Everyone on Planet Mall live in Gaga World and their leader is the Killer Queen and her assistant Khashoggi.
There are of course, people who object to this way of living, and have their own thought and want to act in their own individual ways. One of these rebels is Galileo Figaro who dreams about songs and song lyrics. Of course, everyone else in Gaga World think that he is mad! The other rebel is a girl who enjoys wearing different clothing to the other Gaga girls and feels like she doesn't fit in with them.
Killer Queen decides to catch these two rebels but they manage to escape. These two character strike up a friendship Galileo names the girl Scaramouche and she refers to Galileo as Gazza.
Gazza and Scaramouche head off on a journey to try and find the music, during their travels they meet a group of Bohemians who are also looking for the music. Unfortunately, Killer Queen finds the group of people and arrest them all, only Gazza and Scaramouche escape.
It is up to these two to see if they can find the musical instruments which they know are hidden somewhere on Planet Mall and bring back the music. Will Gazza and Scaramouche outsmart the Gaga World and Killer Queen? Or will they be captured and brainwashed like all the other people?
INNUENDO - a recording of Freddie Mercury doing lead vocals with the cast doing the backing vocals.
RADIO GAGA - This is sung by the Gaga Kids and some of the lyrics have been changed to fit in with the story.
I WANT TO BREAK FREE - the first half of this song is sung by Galileo and the second half is sung by Scaramouche.
SOMEBODY TO LOVE - This is sung by Scaramouche and the Gaga Girls.
KILLER QUEEN - this is performed by the Killer Queen and her assistants.
PLAY THE GAME - again this is performed by the Killer Queen and her assistants.
UNDER PRESSURE - this is sung as a duet by Galileo and Scaramouche.
A KIND OF MAGIC - THIS is sung by the Killer Queen and her assistants.
I WANT IT ALL - is performed by a selection of the Bohemians.
HEADLONG - the vocals are shared between the Bohemians, Galileo and Scaramouche
NONE ONE BUT YOU (ONLY THE GOOD DIE YOUNG) - this is sung by Scaramouche on the lead vocals and the Bohemians doing the backing vocals.
CRAZY LITTLE THING CALLED LOVE - this is sung by the Bohemians, Galileo and Scaramouche.
ONE VISION - this song opens the second act and is such by the Gaga kids doing the backing vocals with Freddie Mercury doing the lead vocals.
WHO WANTS TO LIVE FOREVER - this is sung by Galileo and Scaramouche.
YOU'RE MY BEST FRIEND - this is sung by Galileo and Scaramouche.
FLASH - this is sung by the Bohemians
SEVEN SEAS OF RHYE - sung by Khashoggi and Bohemians
FAT BOTTOMED GIRLS - this is performed by the Killer Queens and her assistants
DON'T STOP ME NOW - is performed by the Killer Queen
ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST - again performed by the Killer Queen
HAMMER TO FALL - is performed by Galileo and Scaramouche
THESE ARE THE DAYS OF OUR LIVES - performed by the Bohemians.
BICYCLE RACE - performed by the Bohemians.
WE WILL ROCK YOU - sung by Galileo and the cast
WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS - again sung by Galileo and cast
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY - this is sung by Galileo, Scaramouche, Killer Queen, Khashoggi and Ensemble
All the songs were performed to an excellent standard and I particularly liked Scaramouche as I thought she had an outstanding voice. Most of the songs include a certain amount of dancing which all fits in with whatever is happening on stage at that time.
The set is very striking, and set a bit like a rock concert with lots of bright lights and stage effects. There are eight massive screens at the back of the stage which play visual effects and often come into the show itself showing telephone conversations.
The set for the Bohemians scene was done especially well and it showed ruins of Tottenham Court tube station.
Parts of the set moves and there are also raised areas with steps that the cast use during the various performances.
Other parts of the set include a Harley Davidson motorbike, an old camper van and many more.
The sound was another aspect of this show that was exceptional. The music was nice and loud without being so loud that it left your ears ringing. There was a live band which sits to the side of the stage and provides all the music for the show.
I paid £35 for each ticket which I thought was very reasonable. Obviously some seats are more expensive at £60 a ticket but this would guarantee you a seat near the front. We sat in the stalls with our tickets and could see the show perfectly from here so I was more than happy with the price we paid and feel I got good value for money.
I would highly recommend a visit to the musical We Will Rock You. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience here. The cast very superb, all of them has great voices, especially Scaramouche and I felt that each character was believable. The costumes were also great, with matching costumes for the Gaga Kids and a gothic look for Scacamouche just to name a couple.
The special effects were impressive, the screens behind the stage fitted in really well to what was happening on the stage and the lights and sounds really made the show!!
The dancing was another aspect of the show I enjoyed, the routines were fun to watch and the dancers were perfectly in time with one another and really appeared to be enjoying themselves.
I am unsure whether this show is meant to be a tribute to Queen but if it was then I felt the cast certainly did them justice with their performances. 100% recommended!
My only grumble is that food and drink inside the theatre are a little overpriced!
I saw this musical last year and it was the first ever musical I had ever seen. I was absolutely amazed by how good it was.
It's performed in the Dominion Theatre in London. Whilst tickets are quite expensive at around £60 for the best seats (which in my opinion are in the middle towards the front) they are more than worth it. The gift shop wasn't too expensive, although there was a sweet stand which sold things like cotton candy and popcorn, and obviously sweets, which was slightly overpriced, but they usually are in these sort of places. The bar was very nice, and allowed you to book drinks for the interval so that you didn't have to queue, which we made full use of.
The plot is quite easy to follow. Set in the future, there is a rebelion as expression through music is banned by a company called Globalsoft. The two main characters, Galileo and Scaramouche set off to discover lost texts which describe the music of the past. Eventually they discover this music (falling in love in the process) and send the power of rock around the world to free the masses, which sends Globalsoft into the ground as people are able to be musically expressive once again!
The cast include Kevin Kennedy as Pop, Alex Bourne as Khashoggi, Ricardo Afonso as Galileo, Sarah French as Scaramouche, Brenda Edwards as the Killer Queen, Ian Carlyle as Brit, and Rachel John as Meat
The musical itself was amazing. As soon as the male lead role opened his mouth and began singing, I was mesmorised. I had never heard a sound come from someones voice which was so amazing (although I might add that I haven't been to that many concerts so this could be a contributing factor). The staging was good, as was the lighting. There has obviously been a lot of money and effort into making the set look incredible. All of the actors/actresses were very involved in what they were doing and it was a thoroughly enjoyable night. The storyline of the musical was well put together, as well as incorporating the songs by Queen such as radio gaga, I want to break free, somebody to love, under pressure, I want it all, who wants to live forever, don't stop me now, another one bites the dust, we will rock you, we are the champions and bohemian rhapsody. I have to add that the band were incredible.
The only part I wasn't too keen on was when a part of the stage came out over the audience, as we were sat below it and had to strain our necks to see the Killer Queen on top of it. Other than that, it was fabulous!
After seeing the show it was quite nice to go round the back and wait at the stage door where it wasn't too busy, to meet the actors/actresses! We even met Kevin Kennedy! They were all lovely and very happy to have pictures taken with us.
This has to be one of the best musicals i've ever seen. so good in fact i saw it twice in 3 months! it defiantly has the wow factor that wicked and hairspray both have. the theatre is huge giving a vibrant atmosphere that all the audience can get involved in, so that by the end there is none left sitting down. i have to say that at the moment there are a lot of half price tickets around on the internet for the show so dont pay full price when you dont have too! the soundtrack itself is brill, only problem is that it leaves a few songs such as 'crazy little thing called love'. its also a live recording rather than studio recorded, giving you the opportunity to relive the show all over again, with short talking sections and audiences clapping. its does include hit tracks such as 'we will rock you' and 'who wants to live forever'
We Will Rock You has to be simply the best musical on offer and I only wished that I lived a little nearer to London so I could see it much much more!
I have always been a fan of Queen and admittedly this was the main reason I wanted to see this show. I think any musical you go and see where you are already familiar with the songs and words is already onto a winner for me. Having said that the first time I went I dragged a long a relative who wasn't even a fan of Queen's music and she still said it was one of the most fantastic musicals she had seen. So for all of you who are dubious about the Queen aspect, then don't be! The story itself makes for entertainment enough and the quality of cast has always been top notch the three times I have seen it. There is humour throughout to suit young and old, and the music is simply a bonus.
I have to give a lot of the credit to this musical being of such a high standard to the band who are incorporated into the stage set up and carry off the hit music of Queen so well. If you are lucky enough to attend the show on a night when there are many of the We Will Rock You fans in the audience then it makes for an even better atmosphere, and you can't help but be carried along with the singing and joining in with all the well known songs.
The only thing I would recommend is not to sit in the first couple of rows. Sitting too close can take away something from the overall viewing of the show in my opinion and it's better to get a seat a little further back where you can really take everything in. Also hunt around for special price tickets as paying full whack can make for a very expensive night. Having said that I have paid full price twice which cost £120+ for two tickets and it was still worth every penny.
I've just got back from a weekend in London. As a birthday treat we went to see 'We Will Rock You' at the Dominium theatre. It's a musical celebrating the music of Queen and written by one of my favourite authors, Ben Elton.
We paid £60 each plus an extortionate booking fee for our tickets so were expecting big things. When we got there we had some really good seats in the middle of the stalls.
^^Brief plot outline^^^
For those of you not aware of this musical, the storyline is set in the future where a corporation is in charge and promotes only computerised music. The Gaga kids are a uniform set of clones and it's up to the grungey kids Gallileo and Scarabouch who discover a team of outcasts living underground that together have to release the music.
As usual, the West End set doesn't disappoint and there's a bit of high tech stage scenery and features. Only spoiled a little by the obvious health and safety remit when two of the lead characters have to clip themselves on to a moving part of the stage!
The music weaves its way into the plot with 'Killer Queen' and 'Bohemian Rhapsody' and more, everybody was singing along and enjoying themselves.
As usual, the numb bum sets in after an hour of sitting on the squashed seats and I really did feel quite uncomfortable. Audio was great and the voices of all leads were amazing but some of the lines I missed, however, I am a bit deaf anyway so I am used to that. Other than that, there really weren't any bad bits!
I think most people could watch this musical and enjoy it. The costumes are great, it's funny, it's modern and relevant and the musicians make it really live and fantastic. They are truly represented for their input too which is rightly so (and often overlooked a bit at some productions I think).
I'm not a massive Queen fan but some people there clearly were and they seemed to be enjoying the show which is a good achievement as fans are often the hardest to please!
I'd recommend this show as a lively and interactive one to watch and although the tickets were quite expensive they were worth it.
268-269 Tottenham Court Road
PS. This show has been nominated for an Olivier award and there is still time to vote (it's a people's vote) if you watched it and enjoyed it you can vote here: http://www.officiallondontheatre.co.uk/olivier_awards/vote/
Somehow over the years, when anyone I know reviews a musical they tell me it was amazing and the whole crowd were singing along, I have been to quite a few musicals and had never experience this until We Will Rock You. All in all this musical fulfilled my dream of audience participation!
The story is set in the future and starts off by showing where the music industry went wrong and how all music has become manufactured and instruments are banned. Everyone on the planet is a GaGa kid, i.e. they are all programmed to like the same music, food, etc and everyone thinks alike. However a group of rebels exist, these people are known as the bohemians, the two main bohemians are known as Galilleo and Scaramouche. Galilleo is known as 'the dreamer' and he receives dreams of lyrics from queen songs.
As everyone is programmed to think the same the Killer Queen and her police guard, Khashogi want to stop the bohemians from finding or creating any instruments left on the planet. The bohemians are searching for instruments hidden by queen.
The story at times can feel a bit weak, although it makes up for this by being laugh out loud funny. Often I felt that some of the songs didn't fit into the story and were just sang as they were popular queen songs. Again however the quality of the music meant you didn't really mind listening to it.
By the end of the show everyone was singing along and swaying their arms to 'We are the champions' and when a message appeared on the screen 'Do you want to hear Bohemian Rhapsody?' there was a resounding 'YES' from the theatre.
If you're someone who likes queens music then I would definitely recommend this, even if you haven't really heard all of queens catalogue I would still give it a go - if you don't like the songs Id guarantee you'll find it funny. By the end of the night I was buzzing, I probably would have went to see the show again the next night if I could have, definitely one to go see.
My younger sister had been hassling me for the best part of a year to take her to go and see 'We Will Rock You!' at the Dominion theatre in London. I've enjoyed many west end musicals in the past, and do like music by Queen, but wasn't sure whether this would appeal to me. With ticket prices ranging from £28 - £60 it seemed too expensive to just chance it.
Just after Christmas, whilst browsing the Tesco Clubcard deals website I spotted that they'd brought back their 'theatre deals' section and were offering top seats for the show in exchange for £15 of clubcard tokens per person. This seemed like too good an opportunity to miss and I ordered 2 tickets straightaway. It turns out that many others had the same idea as it was extremely difficult to find an available date! I eventually managed to get a couple of tickets for a performance on a Wednesday night last week.
The musical, written by Ben Elton in collaboration with Queen is set 300 years from now on a planet formerly known as Earth. The world has been taken over by the GlobalSoft corporation who control everything. The concept of individuality has died. Everyone watches the same movies, wears the same clothes and thinks in the same way. The music they listen to is computer generated by GlobalSoft and musical instruments are forbidden. The concept of Rock music is unknown.
One of the main characters is a young man called Galileo Figaro who has just graduated. He is a bit of a dreamer and hears lyrics of songs of old in his head, though he doesn't know where they come from or their significance. His teachers try to get him to conform to the planets way of life but he refuses. The other central character is a young goth girl who also refuses to conform and is ridiculed by her class mates for not having a boyfriend.
We are then introduced to GlobalSofts ruler, Killer Queen, who is troubled by a prophecy that claims that instruments have been hidden away at the place of living rock and a 'bright star' would show the way to them. She orders her police force to investigate and at the same time deal with a rebel group who call themselves the 'Bohemians'. This group believe in the prophecy and believe a dreamer will fulfil it. They reside in a place called the 'Heartbreak Hotel' which is in the ruins of Tottenham Court Rd Station. Is Galileo this dreamer and can he help them 'Break Free'?
The show lasted for 2 hours 45 minutes including a 15 minute interval and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I did think the story was a little weak and they were really just looking for an excuse to sing lots of Queen songs - not that I minded and that's what I really wanted to listen to, but it would have been more satisfying if the story had more substance. My sister also felt the same way when I asked her what she thought on our journey home. She said that the show was 'Awesome' but didn't really get the story.
There were songs aplenty in the show including:
- Break Free
- Radio GaGa
- Somebody to Love
- Killer Queen
- Play the game
- Under Pressure
- Don't stop me now
- another one bites the dust
and many many more! In all cases the singing was superb and the atmosphere in the theatre was like being at a rock concert, except that we were all seated and it was a bit more dignified! There were plenty of people with glow lights waving them to the songs with others bright dancing with their mobiles! The audience were actively encouraged to join in with clapping and swaying their hands. I did at times find the music a little loud and did wonder if they could turn it down a bit - must be getting old!!! There was also quite a lot of strobe lighting in the show, which did annoy me at times as it meant I couldn't see what was going on on stage.
The set was well designed and I was really impressed with the 'Heartbreak hotel' and how they'd recreated Tottenham Court Rd station, which is directly below the theatre. The cast received a much deserved standing ovation at the end of the show. After the curtain call a question appeared on the screen that said 'Do you want to hear Bohemian Rhapsody?' The audience went wild and the cast came back to perform an amazing version of the song as an encore.
The Dominion theatre is in Central London, on the corner of Tottenham Court Rd and New Oxford St. There are excellent transport links, with Tottenham Court Rd station straight outside and various bus routes serve the area. If you want to drive, like we did, there is an NCP car park two minutes away on Great Russell St. The theatre itself is hard to miss as it has a giant bronze statue of Freddie Mercury on the front.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the show. I thought the songs were superb and very entertaining, but for me it was let down by a slightly weak storyline. I'm glad I went to see it and would definately recommend it to others!
We Will Rock You offers far more visual spectacles than the other West End plays around. If you like your bright lights and smoke effects (and who doesn't!), this is definitely the play for you. These visual effects alone make you feel like you've got good value for money and its almost impossible not to be entertained by the production.
Obviously if you don't like Queen, you won't enjoy this musical. But I'd only let that stop you if you really can't stand Queen's music. The first time I saw this play I went with people who didn't know any of the songs from previous experience but the anthemic nature of most of the numbers meant that this wasn't a problem and they still thoroughly enjoyed the music. And if you are a big fan of Queen, this is a great opportunity to sing-a-long to all of your favourite songs (including one famous song which couldn't be made to fit the plot of the play but is sung for fun anyway).
This is a must if you're a Queen fan or if you want a big visual spectacle in return for your West-End tickets.
This Christmas Day just gone was my wife's 30th birthday. As a special present I arranged to go and see We Will Rock You at the Dominion Theatre in London on Boxing Day. We were both incredibly excited when she opened the envelope containing the tickets on Xmas Day, and when the time came, we jumped in our taxi (her mum and dad's car!!!!!!-thanks!!!!!) and headed in.
The show started at 2.30. Usually, I wouldn't consider the matinee performance, as it's ncie to get dressed up properly and go to an evening performance where no doubt people would have been dancing in the aisles, etc, but with so much going on over Xmas, I figured it best to go in the afternoon.
Upon arrival, we went straight in and were surprised to see it wasn't completely mad with queues all over the place. It's a very relaxed sort of place, with the staff present but quite subtly placed so it doesn't seem like you're constantly being watched. Drinks are, naturally, expensive, as are the sweets and popcorn. I bought a drink and a thing of popcorn for £5 before we went in, and then a beer, some sweets and a bottle of coke for £10 at the interval!! No surprise, though.
We were down in the stalls, three rows from the back. I was a little worried about being able to see, as a few years ago for our anniversary we had gone to see Wicked at the Apollo in Victoria and were quite far back at the top and couldn't see a thing. However, the Dominion doesn't seem as deep. Whether it was being down in the stalls or not I'm not sure, but we had a decent view of the stage, and there were little binoculars you could use for £1. We did, and used them from time to time.
So, onto the show. Plotwise, it's not the strongest, with the emphasis firmly on the music of Queen as opposed to anything else. It is set in the future, and follows the groaningly named Galileo Figaro as he and his new friend (who he names Scaramouche) try to rid the world of corporate manufactured music and return rock and roll to its rightful place on top. Fun is poked out of pretty much everything that is modern and manufactured, with Simon Cowell and the X Factor being blamed for the plight of music, and one of the characters ironically being named Britney Spears (it's a man!).
The story is told through the music, and here is where the show excels. The performers have phenomenal voices, and while they don't sound like Freddie Mercury at all, boy can they sing! It's the sort of show that you just want to constantly dance to, and sing along, and luckily they encourage you to do just that. The performers on stage egg you on to clap along and sing at various intervals, while the rest of the time you can just admire the vocals and the dance moves. Arlene Phillips choreographs the performance, and you see the quality not just in the lead characters, but also in the supporting cast, the ensemble, who do an excellent job. When it comes to the end sequences where they're all dressed in rocker gear, the dancing seems quite individual, and it makes you consider that a prerequisite for getting the job wouldn't just have been a good voice and the ability to dance or act, but a necessity for loving rock and Queen, in particular. You can really see it coming out in the dance performances.
The whole thing lasts for just under 3 hours, with an interval of around 20 minutes or so. I was thoroughly impressed, and although some of the naming was a bit dodgy, and the plot wasn't quite as strong as I would expect from writer Ben Elton, it was thoroughly enjoyable. The focus is very much on the music, and Elton has done a brilliant job to get a story to work around the wording of it. Queen's music is fantastic, true songwriting and performance from a master in Freddie Mercury, and with Queen still going strong as a band, this definitely has their stamp all over it. The band is a live band, playing in the wings, and at one point we get to see them: they even speak! This shows how the production is well worked, with a live band and singing combining excellently throughout.
The end of the show is fantastic, giving us We Will Rock You and then We Are The Champions, performed by the whole cast. Once they all do the bowing thing and then go off stage, a message flashed up on the screen at the back of the stage that simply said, 'Do You Want Bohemian Rhapsody?' Needless to say, the crowd went nuts and out they came again and it was awesome. We were singing away and swaying our arms like right idiots, but then so were the rest of the audience. It felt like being at a civilised rock concert, with seats.
I would happily go and see We Will Rock You again. You can get tickets at really good prices. I bought them online about a month ago for under £50 for the two seats, including booking fees, etc. You may even be able to get them for cheaper. Rest assured that if you get tickets that are near the back in the stalls, you can still see, and they do provide the little binoculars. A highly recommended musical.
"We Will Rock You" is currently rocking the Playhouse Theatre in Edinburgh, and in addition it is still running at the Dominion Theatre in London, where it opened in 2002.
The show is based around the music of Queen and it's the music that is the main draw for this show which has been a huge commercial success, if not so much a huge critical one.
I was fortunate enough to be able to see the Edinburgh show with my daughter, who got into Queen's music from hearing some of their songs on the "X Factor". You can't miss the fact "We Will Rock You" is playing here - there are ads everywhere, along with a huge Freddie Mercury statue in the Omni Centre, next door to the Playhouse Theatre, so she asked me if she could go.
Before I go any further it has to be stressed that the main draw to this show is the music. Queen had a huge amount of hits which have stood the test of time and after the huge success of the musical "Mamma Mia" based on Abba's hits, it probably seemed like a logical step for Brian May and Roger Taylor to do the same with Queen's music.
Once May and Taylor had decided to go ahead with the musical, they hired Ben Elton and together they dreamt up the concept for the musical. The show is set far into the future, where real music is banned in a totalitarian state called Planet Mall which is run by a company called Globalsoft.
Individuality is repressed by the police who take their orders from their ruler, Killer Queen. Killer Queen has heard rumours of a prophecy suggesting that some musical instruments remain in a special place and has ordered followers of this prophecy, the Bohemians, to be repelled.
In the midst of this our two protagonists, the appallingly named Galileo and Scaramouche, find themselves outcasts for each having individual thoughts and shunning the identikit life being imposed upon them by Killer Queen.
A meeting with the Bohemians draws them ever closer as they realise that perhaps the prophecy might lead to a better way of life for all, and they set off following a "bright star" to find the place "of living rock".
I had expected to enjoy the show as by and large I am an admirer of Ben Elton's work, but the book was a disappointment.
The storyline is all a little silly - Orwellian in style, but more of a parody I suppose. Elton is a comic writer so there is much to laugh at in the show, although it has to be said there is a fair amount of smut in the humour so while I was laughing loudly at some of the jokes, my daughter was left scratching her head. There are also some jokes which you have to be over 40 to get really - if you don't remember the original Live Aid for instance, you just won't get it.
Some of the comic devices are a little daft - such as giving the Bohemians names of pop stars - so the leader of the Bohemians is called Britney Spears - the poor man being blissfully unaware of the fact that 300 years previous his chosen namesake was just as guilty of eschewing real music in favour of computer generated stuff as the hated Killer Queen. The audience knows however and it gets a laugh.
The show isn't really about the plot or the characters however - the whole thing is about the music, and Queen's songs, like Abba's in "Mamma Mia" translate very well to the musical theatre.
The staging is also to be commended - in particular the lighting. Lighting is used to great effect in this show - with lasers being particularly good when used to convey cages used to capture those with any thoughts which stray from the majority view.
The scenery was kept simple but effective - hospital beds in one scene and a backdrop of curtains similar to those found in a boudoir in another for instance. The staging was quite minimalistic but it was impossible to miss where you were supposed to be.
Some scenes made use of a large screen at the back, with video clips used to add to the overall effects.
The singing was outstanding, as was the dancing. The dance routines were choreographed by Arlene Philips and while there is little of the steamy choreography she was famous for with Hot Gossip, the lady certainly knows how to arrange a dance routine.
The cast for the show I saw in Edinburgh was variable. I was particularly impressed with Sarah French-Ellis' singing voice - she played Scaramouche and was outstanding on "Somebody to Love" but her comic timing wasn't quite so effective. Galileo was played by Michael Falzon who is a technically gifted singer, if a little devoid of emotion. There's no denying he looked hot however - which is a prerequisite for a leading man really.
Kevin Kennedy played the part of Pop, an ageing Bohemian. For me, he put in the best performance - he only sang one song ("These are the Days of our Lives") pleasantly enough but his acting was excellent. I have only really seen Kennedy play Curly Watts in Coronation Street but he is a naturally gifted theatre actor who knows how to work an audience well. Wembley Stadium features in the plot, and every reference to the place elicited boos from some of the more parochial members in the Edinburgh audience, but Kennedy was able to work this to his advantage, which for me is the sign of someone who really knows his craft.
Darren Day played police chief Khashoggi and was mildly amusing, adopting an Eastenders style accent and singing a couple of songs competently, if unmemorably. I was quite disappointed in him, having been under the impression he was a big West End star - clearly those days are behind him.
Better vocally was Brenda Edwards as Killer Queen - although I suspect Edwards modelled her performance skills for the role on those of Tina Turner. Her acting however was less impressive - she was far too cartoonish to be believable as the evil totalitarian leader of Planet Mall. Her turn during "Don't Stop Me Now" was a big crowd pleaser however.
For me the best vocalist of the evening was Rachel John, who understudied the part of Meat, one of the Bohemians. She performed "No-one But You (Only the Good Die Young)" with heartfelt emotion and also revealed excellent acting abilities as she smouldered beside Wayne A Robinson's Britney. Between the two of them, John and Robinson also revealed great comic timing and the chemistry between the pair was evident.
Overall the sound was excellent and the band became part of the show towards the end too, which was a nice touch. At the start of the show I did struggle a little to hear some of the actors - Darren Day seemed to need a scene or two to get into his stride for instance.
My advice is to try to see past the silly story line and some of the more obvious comic lines which are so evidently the work of Elton and concentrate on the music. Whilst no-one can ever recapture the genius of Freddie Mercury, the songs he made famous have been given a new lease of life on the stage and this is the kind of musical that critics no doubt sneered at but the public adore - seven years in the West End speaks for itself.
The show also subtly plays tribute to Mercury, who is clearly the "bright star" that exists to lead the Bohemians to their special place.
"We Will Rock You" is running in Edinburgh until 9th January and is running indefinitely at the Dominion Theatre on London's Tottenham Court Road. It's also worth noting that for the Edinburgh run, child concession tickets are available for most shows, something I really appreciated as some of the more obvious family shows at the venue haven't offered lower prices except at matinees.
***This review as previously published by me on Ciao under the same user name***
Last Monday my family and I finally managed to see We Will Rock You by Ben Elton and Queen with choregraphy by Arlene Phillips. We all love Queen's music and were really looking forward to seeing the musical.
The show is on at the Dominion Theatre on Tottenham Court Road. This is really easy to get to by Tube as the station is just opposite the theatre.
We had booked the £60 seats in the orchestra stalls in the 9th row back from the stage. We were lucky enough to get the seats 2 for 1 through the Daily Telegraph website and were in a great position to see everything really well without being too close to the stage.
The show starts with very loud music and lots of lighting effects and at first I thought it was all going to be a bit too noisy. However, after the introduction the music was not quite so loud and the story began to emerge. The story is woven around the Queen songs in a similar way to Mama Mia. The show is set in the future in a time where all spontaneous music and musical instruments have been banned and the only music allowed is that approved by the "Killer Queen" and her government. However, there are rebels and the story follows their fight to get free musical expression reinstated.
The show has been running for 8 years but is obviously kept up to date as references were made to events that had recently happened, such as Michasel Jackson's death. Ben Elton has made a little dig at Simon Cowel producing pop "stars" to order who mostly sing and perform in a similar way, which just made me think that maybe in the distant future this story could come true on some level.
There are lots of light hearted moments and also poignant times such as when mention is made of great pop and rock stars of the past.
The whole cast was brilliant - the dancing, singing and sheer enthusiasm took the audience with it. The two main characters, in particular, had fantastic voices and were more than able to do justice to the Freddie Mercury songs.
The audience gave the cast a standing ovation at the end and they came back on stage to give a great rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody while the audience joined in for a good sing song.
This was a fantastic show if you like Queen and you want to have a fun evening out enjoying great music and acting.
We Will Rock You is probably my favourite musical! I had seen The Lion King earlier in the year and that blew me away, but this just rocked it all up and I loved it!
Using Lastminute.com ( which is should review as I am an avid user) I bought two tickets at £27.50 each, this was the cheapest tickets on there, It was a Wednesday Night, and it was my birthday, I was very hungover and had an awful head ache, but this made me hapy happy happy!
When ordering on lastminute you pick your tickets up in the box office, when we cheacked them out, we were in the second row! Awsome view! You could see everything! It was almost like being on stage!
So for anyone who does not know We will rock you, was written by Ben Elton and is a rock and roll musical featuring over 30 Queen Songs. The story of the musical is that music, especially rock and roll has been banned by the killer queen, all her gaga cops are out to destroy anyone who tries to bring back rock and roll, everyone should listen too the msuic she has created. However Galileo is a dreamer and it becomes his mission to find the msuic, he meets many people along his way including the bohemians looking for their rapsody , falls in love with Scaramouche, but do they find the instruments?
Its a loveable story full of fun and music! it will rock you!
Garry Lake -POP good performer although we could see him spit alot!
Alex Bourne - Khashoggi. scary character
Sabrina Aloueche - Scaramouche. AMAZING. FUNNY. GREAT GREAT GREAT!
Mazz Murray - KILLER QUEEN - she has an amazing voice, lots of soul. funny, great performer.
The show is at the Dominion Theatre, Tottenham Court road station, or Oxford Circus. Its a great night out! its funny, entertaining, and you dont even have to love queen to enjoy!
I was very excited to see We Will Rock You as I am a big fan of both Queen and musicals. There are many amazing aspects of this musical and the severely mediocre story line does not detract from the incredible music. The story is very much based around many classic Queen hits, this show is all about the music and the story line is weak but the music is so strong it really doesn't matter. The story is based in the future where all music is banned by an evil dominatrix has taken over the world with the aim of brainwashing everyone so they are unable to think for themselves. The hero's of the show are rebels who love music and can not be brainwashed like all the others, they are taken in by underground rebels who live for music that is now illegal. The hero's have a quest to defeat the evil dominatrix and restore music to the world by finding the phantom guitar that once belonged to rock legends Queen. The music in the show is simply amazing, all the music is based on classic Queen songs with some modern twists. If you are a Queen fan then you will love this show, I wouldn't recommended this show to anyone who does not like Queen. The acting, singing and dancing is all great quality which you would expect from a West End show. The story written by Ben Elton is weak but very funny at times and sets the music off wonderfully. Overall this is a great show for the whole family as long as you like Queen.
Never being a massive fan of 'musical theatre' as they like to say, I have never really WANTED to go and see shows like 'Cats' and 'Les Miserables' but there has been a recent spat of shows that incorporate pop music into their stories. These shows have become increasingly popular due to the success of 'Mama Mia' and 'We Will Rock You'. I've seen Mama Mia before in London with my girlfriend's family. It was OK if you like the music of ABBA, but if it's not your cup of tea it can be a bit tiresome. So on my birthday weekend in London we went to go and see We Will Rock You.
We Will Rock You is much more up my street. Firstly it combines the excellent rock music of Queen and the sharp wit of Ben Elton, who wrote the script. The story is set many years in the future where rock music no longer exists and the world has to listen to formulated synth beats and terrible boy and girl bands. This leads to many clever observations about how music has been on the wane recently. In the midst of this landscape, Scaramouche and Galileo are outcasts in a world devoid of the music that they can hear in their heads. They join together and go off in a search to find the music that has been lost. They are followed by the rulers of this Orwellian world Killer Queen and Khashoggi who want to put a stop to their quest. This leads to many Queen songs being performed throughout the show in the lead up to the mystical instruments being found, so that they can 'rock out'.
The show at the Dominion Theatre in Tottenham Court Road has been running for quite a number of years now and the performance that we saw was a sell out. To be honest, I wasn't expecting it to be as good as it was. The show was excellent in every respect.
The script was funny and clever. The usual Ben Elton style was unmistakable and his style of jokes permeated the script and cleverly tied in all of your favourite Queen songs. I was interested to see how they were going to fit in songs like 'Bicycle Race' and 'Fat Bottomed Girls', but they managed it!
The stage show itself looked excellent and incorporated some clever use of large screen that used animation throughout. It was visually exciting, never a moment went by when there wasn't anything to look at. The dancing was spot on with the singing absolutely excellent. There was a lot of usage of a trap door in the stage where the characters came up and down from the 'underground'. They also used a large revolving section of the stage so that characters like the Killer Queen could come right out into the audience. The scenery was also very good, in particular an underground station that housed the rebels.
The cast were amazing in their roles. The singing was operatic - as it had to be to match up with the originals - but never annoying. The songs hadn't been changed at all, so there was cringeworthy moments. The show lasted for about three hours with a break halfway through, so you really do get your moneys worth as well.
The show was excellent and is highly recommended. If you can get yourself a ticket then it's an evening of great entertainment.
I REALLY REALLY wanted to see this show for years and luckily enough for Xmas last year my son brought me two tickets to go and see it in March. I was beside myself with excitement!
As time got nearer I couldn't wait, I had heard all different things about it ; It was very loud, like going to a rock concert so I was not sure what to expect.
When I entered the theatre (Dominion Theatre, Tottenham Court Road, right outisde the tube station) it struck me as being quite a small theatre which I think I prefer, than it being some big arena to get lost in. We decided to have a quick drink before the show started (much to my husbands horror not the beer the PRICE!) it was very expensive which I suppose you would expect for a theatre £4 for a small bottle of lager(not quite wetherspoon prices!). Needless to say we only had the one. We had great seats about five rows from the front in the middle (I wouldn't think there is a bad seat as it's not that big a theatre).
When the lights went down and the music started it sent shivers down my spine, it was loud but not so loud you couldn't speak to the person with you.
I may sound stupid but when it started I thought hang on a minute it's a play (I really don't know what I was expecting maybe a tribute band!).
I was a bit uncomfortable as my husband hates plays,dramas ect... but
then it burst alive with dancers and flashing lights it was fantastic. The story
is that it is set in the future in GA GA Land a happy safe place where everyone is the same, they think the same, dress the same have the same thoughts and listen to the same music. All musical instruments are banned
and they have no choice in music!
The main character is Galileo who wants to change everything. He mets up with Scaramouch who urges him to change the world of music. So they go on a journey where they met a group of underground rebels who create their own version of music. They have to deal with the Evil Queen who hates rock music and anyone who listens to it will be banished with the help of her aide Khashoggi. Well to cut a long story short as I could be here all day as there is so much to say, it all ends good !
Ben Elton has done a fantastic job of combining the story and music together. It works great and if you are a Queen fan then it is a must to go
and see this absolutey fantastic show. I enjoyed it so much I'm going again
in 2 weeks with my daughter this time! (hubby did enjoy it even though
he tried not to!)
Just to say that on LastMinute.com at the moment they are doing tickets with 50% of as in July they are reshuffling the cast with some new actors
coming in! It will still be great!