If I say We Will Rock You, do you start singing it or clapping the tune? Queen produced some iconic songs during their reign and We Will Rock You - the musical is a celebration of their best.
The story is of a corporate world 300 years in the future, the earth is now called IPlanet and is controlled by Globalsoft Corporation where the head of Globalsoft has banned all non-computer-generated music. There are always the underdogs who fight for what is right and some bohemians are doing exactly that. Galileo hears lyrics in his dreams and with help from Scaramouche, he is tasked to search for the lost instruments. He must fulfil the prophecy and bring back live music by finding the holy grail – Brian May’s guitar. However, the story doesn’t really matter, it is simply a vehicle to hear all those fantastic Queen songs once more. Played live with a fabulously talented band and amazing singers doing them justice. I loved how this 20-year-old show has been brought right up to date. It tells you that X-Factor killed off real music. It shows the school is turning out brainwashed teenagers who want likes and friends on Facebook rather than encouraging real life friends. It shows that we are producing a generation that care more for their looks than what really matters and gives very clear parallels with today’s society. There were even a couple of references to Covid. Its very current and this works in its favour. I enjoyed that Brittany Spears was a man and that Meatloaf was a woman. I loved how they had brought the names up to current times.
The outfits are out of this world and it looks like the bohemians have raided my wardrobe. I would wear almost every outfit on that stage including the Killer Queens. I loved the use of graphics in the background to enhance the songs – for example, Another One Bites The Dust has an old retro game space invaders in the background.
Galileo was played by Ian Mcintosh and he was the ideal Galileo. His acting was excellent, allowing us to go on his journey with him to discover who he is. Ian absolutely does the Queen songs justice. Even the ‘Ehhh Ohhs’. Scaramouche was played by Elena Skye and I loved her sarcasm and sassy attitude she gave to Scaramouche. Elena has an amazing voice and totally nails the songs.
Killer Queen was played by Jenny O’leary and oh boy, that girl has some lungs on her. She was a great baddie. Her Police Chief is Khashoggi played by Adam Strong and with his very British accent. He would make a good Frank n Furter from Rocky Horror. Cliff was played by Michael Mckell and even if he was called Sir Cliff Richard in the show, I am going to argue he reminded me much more of Billy Idol with a Bryan Adams style voice. I loved his portrayal of Cliff. The whole cast were exceptional. All can sing brilliantly and this is just as well as we are told by Ben Elton at the beginning of the show, the audience shouldn’t sing as the people on stage are better. I agree that they are all way better than me.
This is a fantastic show with every classic Queen song you ever loved in the show. My top tip is don’t leave until they do Bohemian Rhapsody. You may think We Are The Champions is the last song – it isn’t!
We Will Rock You is at Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury until 7 May 2022 and then continues its UK tour.