‘We Will Rock You’ is one of those musicals where you know exactly what you’re going to get; a musical with a set list jam-packed with singalong mega hits and bags of energy and fun, it’s a real crowd pleaser!
Launched back in 2002; it has become the eleventh longest running musical of the West End and credited as one of the original ‘jukebox’ musicals, it’s popularity and longevity can be acknowledged in part by the back catalogue of Rock Legends; Queen – which make up its score; featuring a whooping 25 songs from Freddie Mercury and the band.
The script although quite far-fetched and silly at times is perfectly tailored to our British humour, and writer Ben Elton has revamped and refreshed the script over the years to keep the production relevant, including a rather amusing Covid themed kissing scene.
The plot however is and always has been quite flimsy; it centres around a distant time in the future where rock music is banned and the only music allowed comes from a talent contest type format, only for a group of misfits to join forces to form a new band to fight the cyber world and create ‘proper’ music.
The musical numbers which fit into each scene are delivered with rafts of energy by a cast which deliver 110% throughout both physically on stage and vocally, numbers like ‘We Will Rock You’, ‘Radio Gaga’ & ‘Bohemian Rhapsody are all visual delights to watch although sometimes the dialogue before certain songs can become a bit Panto-esque.
The dance routines are however faultless throughout the show and the cast look to have so much fun on stage, belting out hit after hit with vocals which any Queen fan would be glad to hear daily.
Damien Walsh takes on the lead roles of ‘Galileo’ with lots of energy on stage, joined on stage by love interest Scaramouche played by Elena Skye. Skye has an incredible vocal range and is a real delight. Michael Mckell as Cliff provides lots of humour to the role, Adam Strong as Khashoggi has great stage presence and Jenny O’Leary as Killer Queen is a tour de force with incredible vocals and charisma.
The emphasis is definitely on the cast and the music with a simple stage featuring large LED screens at the back providing an ever changing backdrop with a truss style lighting rig surrounding, it might not quite be a stadium stage fit for the original band, but it provides a backdrop, although the 20-year-old graphics do look a little dated now in places.
It is still an electrifying show after 20 years of touring around the world and that is a real credit to Ben Elton’s musical; it’s sure to get you on your feet dancing, it would just be nice to see a more updated version with perhaps better use of staging and effects.
Verdict: This Musical stalwart still delivers a foot-stomping, crowd-pleasing night out!
We Will Rock You continues at the Palace Theatre until 10th September, more information and tickets can be found HERE.
Reviewer: Max Eden
Reviewed: 5thSeptember 2022
North West End UK Rating: ★★★★