I can’t think why I haven’t blogged about this before, as last month I was lucky enough to win four tickets to see We Will Rock You from my local radio station. I think in part, my enthusiasm was knocked by the fact that sorting out my prize was a bit of an annoyance – queries over the number of tickets won, and transport being provided that didn’t actually meet our needs, that when we eventually ended up getting it confirmed it was only a week before we were going so no time really to get excited.
Nevertheless, my two dear friends and I bundled into the car and off up to London. We were lucky that our other friend lives in Wimbledon, and right on the tube line we needed to get to Tottenham Court Road, so we parked at her house and off we went.
I love going to the theatre – love it, love it, love it – the whole experience of getting there, then going in – do you buy a programme and a brochure? What other memorabilia is there? I opted for a pin badge, but declined a We Will Rock You Glow stick (kind of wished at the end that I had had one!). I had thought that there was no-one we would recognise in the show, but on picking up our tickets and having a peek at the cast board, we discovered that Noel Sullivan (ex of Hearsay), Kevin Kennedy (from Corrie) and Brenda Edwards (former X-Factor contestant) were in the show, which prompted a Stage Door trip after the show. But anyway, on to the show itself.
How exactly do you meld a series of unconnected Queen songs together in a vaguely believable fashion while keeping the story fairly sensible? Well, the simple answer is you don’t. But what Ben Elton has done is come up with a story so silly that you can’t help but be charmed by it, and just sit back and enjoy the familiar songs. The show and cast clearly realise that their story is too silly to be taken seriously, so sit back with tongue firmly in cheek and just enthusiastically perform each number as if their lives depended on it! Given that the show is now in its tenth year, I get the feeling that audiences agree that this is a good way to go!
The story takes place in the future, where Globalsoft basically controls that world, led by Killer Queen, a computer character who has become self aware and downloaded herself into her creator to take over the world. All music is produced by the company and instruments are banned. A small group of rebels still live their lives by the music of the past and the hope that the ‘Dreamer’ will come to return Rock and Roll to the world. See what I mean?? Bonkers!
Regardless, the old favourite songs are performed with such gusto that by the end of the show it is thoroughly absorbing. The night we went was pretty quiet and the audience full of French students who were either falling asleep or making stupid noises, so spoiled somewhat by them – I have a feeling that had we gone on a Friday or Saturday when most of the audience actually wanted to be there and got involved, it would be a pretty darn good night!
I realise this review has become lengthy, but I can sum it up by saying, Queen fan or not, you’ll be familiar with most of the songs in the show and what better way to enjoy them than live, being sung by and enthusiastic and talented cast?
We Will Rock You is currently playing at The Dominion Theatre, Tottenham Court Road, London. I won these tickets, so while they were a freebie, they were NOT in exchange for this review.