Being a big fan of Queen, I was excited to go and see We Will Rock You at Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall. I love the music and as I was too young to see the band live before it was too late, I was looking forward to rocking out in my seat.
We waited (some impatiently) for the doors to open to let us in to the auditorium, there seemed to be a delay in getting people seated, but as the doors finally opened and the audience took to their seats, we were greeted with a digital starry night scene on the stage.
The music started, making the hairs on my neck stand on end; the opening bars of Innuendo. I couldn’t wait for the rest of the songs to blast out.
Set in the not too distant future (so it seems) everyone has gone ‘Internet Gaga’, spending their time online, friendships formed on social media and not real-life (sound familiar?!) and inhabitants not allowed to listen to rock and roll or play instruments. Two outcast rebels – Galileo Figaro (Ian McIntosh) and Scaramouche (Elena Skye) – know they are different but can’t figure out quite what it is that makes them stand out, they just know they hate the regime.
After they escape the Gaga institution, they stumble upon like-minded rebels called the Bohemian’s. The Bohemian’s know there is more to their life, they yearn for the golden age of music, seeking the one that will help them realise their dreams of experiencing the freedom and joy that music will bring.
Up against the Killer Queen (Jenny O’Leary), who forbids anyone to rock out, can the Bohemian’s find their ‘rhapsody’?
Notwithstanding the technical difficulties very early on in the show, causing a 15 minute delay to the show, I felt the first half was quite cheesy and forced, with the plotline seeming a bit dreary. After the interval the second half definitely saved the show, with better music, a quicker pace and funnier lines. The cast had also relaxed into their roles.
The odd stage hiccup was covered up (not so subtly – which made it all the more hilarious) by the brilliant Michael McKell who played a Mick Jagger-esque Buddy. He definitely had the best lines of the show and caused my embarrassing laugh to come out numerous times.
The cast all have amazing voices but the stand out for me was Jenny O’Leary (Killer Queen). She has such a powerful voice you can’t help but listen in awe…you go girl! I definitely agreed when she sang ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ and wanted to be in her gang!
If you are expecting to know all the words to the songs then you will find that you won’t. Some of the songs have been changed slightly for the show, it’s not a Queen tribute it’s a show based around the songs of. Still fantastic and still has you stomping, clapping and singing along the words that you do know.
Written by the legendary Brian May and Ben Elton (his quirkiness shines through), see ‘We Will Rock You’ at the Royal Concert Hall now.