Killer Queen Musical Moments In "We Will Rock You"
Imagine a world where rock music is nothing more than a myth. Where instruments are sought after like precious lost artefacts, rockstars are only imagined as mystical creatures and lyrics are heard only as ancient poetry.
We Will Rock You, Ben Elton’s jukebox musical featuring the works of Queen catapults an audience into this unthinkable land. We find ourselves on the iPlanet ruled by Globalsoft; a corporation that rips away individuality and regulates its people from the clothes they wear to the music they can listen to. Creativity and individuality is restricted and those who attempt it are dubbed as the rebellious Bohemians. They believe in a prophecy that instruments are surviving on the iPlanet and that a bright star will show them the way.
Our two leads are the wistful Galileo (Ian McIntosh) and his badass “chick” Scaramouche (Elena Skye), both a little lost and misplaced in the squeaky clean world. When their teacher begins to notice their unruly behaviour, they are captured by Khashoggi (Adam Strong) and manage to flee together. They meet the Bohemians at their underground vault, The Heartbreak Hotel, and learn of rock legends through collected artefacts including a Harley Davidson, posters and a video that they have no idea how to play. Our rebels are based on legends, or those confused to be, including the loveable stoner Buddy (Michael McKell), dynamic and exciting couple Oz (Amy Di Bartolemo) and Brit (David-Michael Johnson). Galileo’s tendency to spew popular culture references from Psy to Mick Jagger with no purpose or meaning lead the Bohemians to consider him a Dreamer - the chosen one to unlock what rock n roll really is, and to revive it.
In all, the design is mostly spectacle. Based around large cinematic screens for the iPlanet, it encapsulates you in a clinical AV environment that is chilling and futuristic complete with costumes straight out of a classic albeit slightly cheesy sci-fi movie. In contrast, the Bohemians feel wonderfully like home. The Heartbreak Hotel is cluttered with lovely detail and individually the homage paid to rock's icons is subtle enough to feel warming.
Though, with a backstory that really, could have been put together as a creative writing assignment at college, and with characters that are unjustly given as much personality as those we see on Hollyoaks, the real reason audiences keep returning to the show for more is of course, to hear the songs. Even if they are shoehorned in, and in parts feature some lyric alterations in an attempt of justification. Delivered with the gusto and power they deserve, the We Will Rock You cast emphasises the power of rock and the emotions that come attached. In no time at all, you’re able to disconnect from the disjointed lacklustre of the book and focus on the delivery of a stellar cast with vocals worthy of the stage.
“Somebody To Love” - Scaramouche
Skye’s solo debut injected some much awaited fire into the production. Backed by the clones of the iPlanet - the robotic and pristine, Teen Queens, her energy is electrifying in contrast as she pleads for an escape from the corporation under blinding artificial white light.
“Killer Queen” - Killer Queen
Jenny O’Leary’s portrayal of the leader of Globalsoft was close to being a pantomime baddie. However, O’Leary’s incredible range and dominating stage presence took control leaving audiences revelling in the glory of her delicious, fulfilled performance, taking the crown.
“I Want It All” - Brit and Oz
Di Bartolemo and Johnson’s chemistry as the leaders of the Bohemians was the most captivating to watch, with infectious and giddy energy. Their rendition had the audience chanting and waving their arms, eager to stand with our unlikely heroes.
“No-One But You (Only The Good Die Young)” - Oz and the Bohemians
This number carried the real heart of the production as a touching moment of our rock icons paying their respects to those that had been lost. Highlighting the visual credit of the detailed and precise costumes of the Bohemians, allowed space for personal interpretation and thought. Di Bartolemo’s leading vocal was lullabic and soft, passionate and careful.
“We Will Rock You” - Galileo
Finding his way to Wembley stadium, Galileo retrieves the electric guitar and gives another “AY-O!”, a random shout that finally has its place. Leading to an epic finale, McIntosh stands in Freddie Mercury’s shadow to deliver a simple but honourable tribute.
"We Will Rock You" tours the UK this 2019 - 2020