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I've always loved musicals and I have loved Queen from I was old enough to know about music. Bohemian Rhapsody was too hard to say, so I used to pull on my older brother's trouser leg and say, put on "momma just killed a man".
When I heard that there was going to be a musical made up of Queen Songs I was delighted, two of my favourite things! Recently, my husband and I had a 3 day stay in London, and being the cheap skates that we are, we decided to go to the half price ticket Booth in Leicester Square to see what we could get. We managed to get stall seats for We Will Rock You; with a great view for just over half price (Normal Price for stalls is £40 - we got them for £24). Tickets can be bought online at Ticketmaster and all the usual places that you can get concert tickets. Prices are very steep, but it is a west end show, and therefore reflects the prices of other shows in the area.
We Will Rock you is presently situated in the Dominon Theatre, which is just beside Tottenham Court Road Tube station. On the outside, just above the doorways is a huge Statue of Freddy Mercury, microphone in hand. It's pretty impressive, and sets the scene for the evening even before you enter the building.
We Will Rock You was written by comedian Ben Elton, with Brian May and Roger Taylor from Queen as Musical Supervisors. It is set in the future, when boy bands and girl bands have taken over, when real music has died and the earth (now called Planet Mall) has become a sort of cloned society - everybody is supposed to think and do the same things. The only music that they are allowed to listen to is computer generated rubbish. No one is allowed to have original thought - if you do, the secret police come along and brain washes you. The story follows a boy called Galileo (played by Mig Ayesa) who says that song words just pop into his head - usually the lines from Queen Songs. Galileo encounters another cast - out from school, Scaramouche (played by Hannah Jane Fox) who sees him as a bit of a wimp, but is obviously going to be the romantic interest in the play. Galileo meets the Bohemian's (a rebel crowd who have found old newspaper clippings about music from the past), whose leader is a man called Britney Spears. They believe that he will be the one to free them all, based on the legend. The legend states that there are musical instruments buried in some rock (placed there by Queen), and as musical instruments are banned, they set out to try and find them and to save the planet from the nightmare that they currently live in. As always there are villains who try to stop the bohemians from achieving their goal.
Throughout, the music is all Queen Songs, very cleverly worked into the story line. On the odd occasion there was a sense of, yeah you just stuck that story line in so that you could put that song in, didn't you? But on the whole it was very good. I am saying that from a musical fan's point of view. From a Queen fan's point of view, I'm not so sure. Queen songs will always be best sung by Freddy, and in my opinion nothing will ever compare to him. You see, I've been having this whole dilemma with myself after seeing it - it was very good, and if you are looking for, I suppose, a tribute to Queen's work, and an example of how it can mean something to everyone, then it is a good idea. There are, however, some people who look upon it as a sort of replacement for Queen, and for me that will never happen.
The cast all have brilliant voices, particularly Sharon D. Clarke who played the villain, killer Queen, and the story had some very amusing moments (in particular when they discussed how no one had ever been able to find the instruments that "No instruments of mass destruction had been found"), Ben Elton's humor is apparent throughout the entire performance. My favourite moment however had to be, when the Bohemians paid tribute to all the great musical legends over the years that had died young and in particular Freddy Mercury.
The set of the show is absolutely amazing, it is obvious that no expense has been spared on this, and the musicians are absolutely fantastic - guitarists who are able to play Queen Music almost as well as Brian May deserve respect.
So, all in all, I would recommend it. It is a quality show, I know that there are Queen Fans out there who think that it is ridiculous that a musical has been made, and everyone is entitled to their own opinion on that. I will look upon it as a great musical, with a fun sort of story line, Queen Music will reach people who had never bothered with it before, and the theatre will appeal to more that it did before. That can only be a good thing.
More info can be found: http://www.queenonline.com/wewillrockyou/
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