We Will Rock You, London

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We Will Rock You, London

Musical/Touring Production - Address: Dominion Theatre, 268-269 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 7AQ

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96% positive

19 reviews from the community

Review of "We Will Rock You, London"

published 17/02/2003 | Critchyboy
Member since : 10/02/2003
Reviews : 36
Members who trust : 51
About me :
Excellent
Pro Great show
Cons Digraceful ticketing system.
very helpful

"Quintessentially Queen"

I never wanted to go and see this show and on top of that I didn't want to enjoy it. There are far too many musicals based on back-catlogue music from bands. Mamma Mia, Our House, Tabooand soon Cliff - The Musical and a Rod Stewart one! Eeeek.
Also ticket prices, especially for this show, are shocking - another reason I will not be visiting the West End any time soon.

But enjoy this show I did (sorry, went all Yoda there for some strange reason) and here is a review of a show panned and thrashed by the critics, but one that the audiences have taken to their hearts.

***THE THEATRE***

The Dominion Theatre is located slap bang on Tottenham Court Road just above the Tottenham Court Road tube station. The Northern and Central lines call at this station so travelling there is fairly easy. It is only a 10 minute walk from Leicester Square so grab something to eat there and get on down to the 'Dominion'.

The theatre was built in 1929 and is currently one of the largest venues in London's West End with a seating capacity of around 2,060. Charlie Chapin himself has appeared on the Dominion stage in 1931 and it has been used as a cinema in the past also. It holds the record for the longest ever cinematic film - South Pacific opened on 21st April 1958 and ran four 4 years and 22 weeks taking in some 2,500 performances to over 3,000,000 people!

The Dominion Theatre is now owned by Clear Channel Entertainment and is home to the mega-hit musical 'We Will Rock You'.

***WE WILL ROCK YOU***

-THE STORY-

The story begins sometime in the future. Earth is now called Planet Mall and is ruled by the Killer Queen. All rock music has been banned and destroyed - the only available music is manufactured pop obtained by downloading it from the internet. Everyone listens to the same music, does the same thing, wears the same clothes.

Everyone except our hero 'Galileo Figaro' and his partner 'Scaramouche'. Galileo has been having strange dreams that bring him visions and words that he cannot understand. Words like "Will you do the fandango?" He yearns to break free from the oppression brought by the Killer Queen's reign. Likewise, Scaramouche is not happy with her life. She simply doesn't fit into with the 'Ga-Ga girl' crowd - she too wants to break free from her futile existence.

The Killer Queen and her assistant Khashoggi have heard the ancient stories of musical instruments hidden on Planet Mall and are determined to find and destroy them. No stone is left unturned and no national monument is safe as they search for the fabled instruments. People like Galileo and Scaramouche are dangerous to their rule and are arrested, their minds erased and they themselves are sent to the 'Seven Seas of Rye'.

Galileo and Scaramouche after their arrest and release meet some other 'Bohemians' who have evaded capture and are taken to their hiding place under the streets of Old London Town. Unforutunately buggin devices have been attached to them and Khashoggi turns up with a gang of police and arrests the lot of them. Only Galileo and Scaramouche escape.

It is up to our heros to save the planet with the help of a strange old hippy called 'Pop' and to discover the fabled musical instruments buried by the rock group Queen way back in the past - to defeat the ruling Killer Queen. But will they do it..?

***THE CAST***

Tony Vincent - GALILEO. Excellent singing voice, superb performance. Played Simon Zealotes in the film version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's 'Jesus Christ Superstar'. You may also have seen him singing 'Bohemian Rhapsody' with Queen at the Party at the Palace during June 2002.

Hannah Jane Fox - SCARAMOUCHE. Superb again. Excellent voice and has just the right amount of venom to spit out Ben Elton's sarcastic put-downs.

Sharon D Clake - KILLER QUEEN. Absolutely amazing, stunning, superb voice! WOW! THE reason to go and see this show. Struts round the stage in a variety of scary costumes. Brilliant.

Nigel Planer - POP. The only person who could play this role effectively. I cannot see anyone else doing this role. Pulls it off very well - and nearly flashed his tits!

***THE SONGS***

I just recently bought the CD soundtrack and there was a song listing inside it. I think there are more songs in the show - many of those not in the list are snippets. The main songs are:

- INNUENDO: Freddy's Vocals backed by the Cast.
- RADIO GA GA: Some of the words have been re-worked to get internet references in!
- I WANT TO BREAK FREE: Sung by Galileo and Scaramouche.
- SOMEBODY TO LOVE: Superbly sung by Scaramouche.
- KILLER QUEEN: 'Nuff said.
- PLAY THE GAME: Sung by Killer Queen.
- UINDER PRESSURE: Sung by Galileo and Scaramouche.
- A KIND OF MAGIC: Killer Queen again!
- I WANT IT ALL: Sung by the Bohemians.
- HEADLONG:
- NO-ONE BUT YOU (ONLY THE GOOD DIE YOUNG): Superbly brought to life by a character called Meat, one of the Bohemians.
- ONE VISION: Opening of the Second Act.
- WHO WANTS TO LIVE FOREVER: Sung by Galileo and Scaramouche.
- FLASH & SEVEN SEAS OF RYE: Sung by Kashoggi, the Killer Queen's henchman.
- DON'T STOP ME NOW: Sung by Killer Queen.
- ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST: Another sung by Killer Queen!
- HAMMER TO FALL: Galileo and Scaramouche.
- THESE ARE THE DAYS OF OUR LIVES: Sung by Pop.
- WE WILL ROCK YOU: Galileo and the Cast.
- WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS: Galileo and the Cast.
- BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY: Sung as an encore by the entire cast with the main charactors taking solo lines.

***THE SET***

The set is stunning - more high-tech than a huge rock concert. Amazing. 8 digital screens move across the stage flashing up visuals or acting as a video-conference telephone. Excellent. A set of a ruined Tottenham Court Road tube station appears out of the floor of the stage as the setting for the Bohemians Hide-away. Walkways raise up out of the stage and spin round over the audience in the stalls to reach the height of the front of the Dress Circle so that the Killer Queen can really menace everyone. It is simply a visual feast for the eyes.

***THE CREATIVE TEAM***

Ben Elton - AUTHOR. Famous for BlackAdder, The Man from Auntie, The Thin Blue Line and Maybe Baby. Tiresome reliance and 'knob' and 'shag' gags.

Brian May and Roger Taylor - MUSIC SUPERVISORS. Famous for being part of Queen!

Christopher Renshaw - DIRECTOR. Famous for Taboo among other things.

Arlene Phillips - CHOREOGRAPHER. Famous for the roller-skating antics in 'Starlight Express'.

***THE CONCLUSION***

Overall this is a fantastic, fun show. Does what it says on the tin. The plot and dialogue are totally ridiculous and Elton's reliance on one-liner jokes really show up here. The part in second half where the plot finally clunks into shape is totally ludicrous and shockingly bad and some of the songs feel wrenched into place with the tiniest of pre-texts as to why they are there.

But really. The songs are what this show is all about. And We Will Rock You has them in spades. A huge number of Queen's greatest hits from 'Radio Ga-Ga' to the title song 'We Will Rock You' via a snatch of 'Fat Bottomed Girls' and 'Somebody to Love'. Excellent songs sung and played by people at the top of their game.

Saveged - unfairly - by the critics it is a success. A sequel is planned and it is now charging the highest prices for a West End musical.

Go and see it - don't expect Shakespeare and don't expect BlackAdder. Go and let your hair down to some of the greatest rock music ever written and forget the loopy plot-line. It's guaranteed to have you singing and clapping and cheering along. Total entertainment.

***THE PRICES***

Monday - Thursday evening 7.30pm and Wednesday afternoon 2.30pm (last of the month only).

Stalls.
£40.00
£22.50

Dress Circle.
£40.00
£32.50
£22.50

Friday Evening 7.30pm.

Stalls.
£44.00
£27.50

Dress Circle.
£45.00
£37.50
£27.50

Saturday 2.30pm and 7.30pm

Stalls.
£50.00
£42.50
£35.00
£27.50

Dress Circle.
£50.00
£42.50
£35.00
£27.50

Standing tickets at all performances: £12.50

By way of note the expensive tickets in the Stalls count from Row A - Row Z. You pay the same price for sitting at the front as you do 25 rows back in the theatre. On Saturdays the ticket pricing changes. Most expensive tickets are in the centre two blokcs of both the Stalls and the Dress Circle.

Don't forget to add on your booking fee, £3.00 - £6.00 per ticket depending on where you buy them from. Avoid booking fees by visiting the box office in person. Not useful if you don't live in London.

For a show that preaches against manufacturing hype and gross sales I find the new pricing system a little hypocritical. But that's just my humble opinion.

Thakns for reading.

C :o)


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Comments on this review

  • SweetTooth93 published 27/02/2009
    OH MY GOSH....I am a HUGE West End show fan and this is definitely one of my fave shows...I saw it last week! DID YOU SEE KERRY ELLIS? OH MY GOD...i'd kill to see her playing Meat! I've seen her in Wicked many times xx
  • blaupraust published 06/12/2005
    Good reviw, thoug not being a Queen fan, I think I'll be giving it a miss..
  • Badger_Boy published 25/05/2004
    I was going to review this but I just couldn't compete with such a comprehensive and detailed review. The plot made me cringe but the actual performances and visuals blew me away. I've now got the soundtrack playing constantly in my car! Fantastic review. Steve :o)
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Product Information : We Will Rock You, London

Manufacturer's product description

Musical/Touring Production - Address: Dominion Theatre, 268-269 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 7AQ

Product Details

Address: Dominion Theatre, 268-269 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 7AQ

City: London

Type: Musical/Touring Production

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