The latest production of We Will Rock You is loud, bright, colorful and entertaining.
Playing at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre, the show has always and is sure to continue to appeal to lovers of Queen’s music. After all it features 24 of the bands hits.
This new production has been rejigged by its creator Ben Elton. Having not seen any previous productions (the show first premiered in London in 2002) I have nothing to compare it to. But judging by audience reaction on opening night it’s likely to be just as popular as previous incarnations.
We Will Rock You is set in the year 2306 and a corporation called GlobalSoft has taken over the earth (now known as iPlanet). The rise of technology and social media has seen the kids of the time all uncritically consume slick, pre-programmed pop music. Rock music has been banned but there is a group of underground rebels who are seeking to return rock music to its full glory.
Enter social misfit Galileo Figaro (Gareth Keegan), a confused, disaffected kid who hears old rock lyrics and tunes in his head. With the help of his love interest, the feisty, rebellious Scaramouche (Erin Clare) and other rebels (including Brian Mannix as Buddy, Jaz Flowers as Oz and Thern Reynolds as Britney), Galileo sets off on a quest to change the world for the better. Standing in their way is the Killer Queen (Casey Donovan) and her henchmen led by Khashoggi (Simon Russell).
While the storyline is farcical there are some very funny lines which are well delivered by the cast. Especially humorous are the scenes set in rebels `hideout’ where the cast reference contemporary life and pop culture. But it’s the music which is the great joy of this show, especially if you are a Queen fan.
Songs performed include Radio Ga Ga, I Want To Break Free, Somebody To Love, Under Pressure, Another One Bites the Dust and Killer Queen, We Are The Champions and Bohemian Rhapsody and of course We Will Rock You. Gareth Keegan has one of the hardest roles performing 11 songs sung by Freddie Mercury. Most agree he nails the role. Similarly Erin Clare does a great job while Jaz Flowers’ No-one But You is one of the musical highlights.
Some very impressive choreography adds to the appeal of the show. Lasers, lights and even pyrotechnic effects enhance its loud and bright feel. It’s this colour and movement, together with some humorous dialogue, the performance of the cast and band and Queen’s music which ensures We Will Rock You provides an entertaining night at the theatre.
We Will Rock You is playing at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre until October 30. For more information and tickets visit the website.
Jenny Burns attended the opening night of We Will Rock You as a guest of the show.
*Photos: Jeff Busby.
- live shows, Melbourne, reviews
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