We Will Rock You – Review

Latest posts by Jamal Gerald (see all)

One thing you should know about me is how much I love Queen. With this in mind I was particularly excited to book tickets to see We Will Rock You: The Musical on the West End, at the Dominion Theatre, the musical by Queen (Brain May & Roger Taylor) and Ben Elton.

Before the show I had a fear, a fear was of it being exceedingly terrible. But thank God it wasn’t. I was also quite glad it wasn’t a biography of the legendary rock band known as Queen. A bunch of random dudes in wigs trying to match their talent wouldn’t have had the same effect.

The production would go beyond this into a time where live music, instruments and songs have been banned. In a future on iPlanet, a place formerly known as Earth. iPlanet is being controlled by Globalsoft who are a massive corporation who feed computerised indentikit pop to the masses.

The female characters outdid their male counterparts through the sheer sass and energy that made me feel so warm inside. There was Meat (Amanda Coutts), Scaramouche (Rachael Wooding) and the Killer Queen (Brenda Edwards). She surely was a dynamite with a laser beam and guaranteed to blow your mind. She really blew mine. Along with her assistant, Khashoggi (Alasdair Harvey), they made a really good team with great chemistry.

I was worried about the male lead Galileo played by understudy Matt McKenna. The current Galileo (Oliver Tompsett) was off due to complications with his voice. The reason I was worried because I thought that this guy’s vocal range couldn’t possibly match Freddie’s. Well I wasn’t wrong, but I wasn’t entirely right either. He did a great job in terms of hitting those difficult high notes. I ended up surprised that he wasn’t the current lead because he was that good. I was shocked to realise he was just an understudy. Another male character I was impressed with was Brit (short for Britney Spears) potrayed by Rolan Bell. He was just hilarious, it was just a shame that he wasn’t in the show for longer.

The only issues I had with the show was that there were some areas where the writing came across as weak. Maybe it’s because I’m a Queen fan, but they would at points just reference one of the songs, and then sing the song. It was very predictable. Another issue was that the choreography set out by Arlene Phillips wasn’t all that and didn’t really inspire me in the same way that the cast’s voices did. However, the one exception to this was the ‘We Will Rock You’ number. My least favourite number would have to be Radio GaGa. I don’t think the ensemble conveyed the lyrics to the song well and I just feel their voices as an ensemble couldn’t possibly match the power that Freddie had when he sang the song, especially at Live Aid (1985).

There were plenty of moments where I became slightly teary. Mainly this was during the No One But You (Only The Good Die Young) number sung by Meat. The cast mention fellow musicians that died at a young age such as Amy Winehouse, Kurt Cobain. John Lennon and of course Freddie Mercury. It was truly a special and deep moment within the performance. Whenever, they mentioned Freddie I just wanted to cry.

Overall, this is one of the first times I have ever watched a West End show and said to myself that I need to watch this again. If you’re a Queen fan or just love being entertained than I highly recommend you to go see We Will Rock You at the Dominion Theatre.

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