Culture Writer Charis Gambon reviews We Will Rock You and finds the show to be a spectacular display of nostalgia and music

Written by charisGambon
Last updated

We Will Rock You the musical is a very fitting display of the music of Queen. It is fun, exciting and engaging. There is not a dull moment present within the show. You will enjoy it so much that the time will fly by. 

The We Will Rock You musical tells the story of a group of rebels known as “Bohemians” who struggle to restore the free exchange of thought and fashion, and live music in a distant future where everyone dresses, thinks and acts the same. It is set 300 years in the future on the iPlanet where Globalsoft Corporation run by Killer Queen rules the earth with the aim of creating Gaga girls and X boys.

I found the piece to be relevant to society in a funny way as young people rely on technology immensely and lots of young people dress and act the same.  Individuality is often laughed at as it is suggested that they ‘do not fit in’. This happens to Scaramouche within the musical but she is not bothered about joining the Gaga girls much like in real life.

Individuality is often laughed at as it is suggested that they ‘do not fit in’

The entire performance is packed full of puns and references about music, as well as tropes from dystopian and science-fiction movies. This pulls back to the original era of Queen, while showing a comparison to the modern issue of “mass-produced” music which has no soul, all of which is produced by Globalsoft. The “Bohemians” give themselves names based off of live music artists that they find the names of such as Tina Turner, Britney Spears, Meatloaf and Cliff Richard. 

The performances by the outstanding live band had the room thumping, and the energy of the actors was spot on. Musicians Zachary Flis, James Barber, Simon Croft, Neil Murray, Dave Cottrell and Elena Skye as Scaramouche performed outstanding extended notes proving her singing abilities to the audience. Ian Mcintosh sang incredibly well as Galileo and the two harmonised perfectly when singing together. Jennifer O’Leary provided such evil stage presence and attitude within her performance as Killer Queen. 

The songs of Queen are utilised to move the story of the piece on in a unique and interesting way. Songs are used in sentences as dialogue but are also used as whole songs. Some songs are sung the way they were written whilst other songs have been adapted and changed for the musical. Radio Gaga is an example of an adapted and changed song to fit the story, while still managing to pay homage to Queen.

The songs of Queen are utilised to move the story of the piece on in a unique and interesting way

The whole theatre piece is very sci-fi with moments that were similar to Star Wars, Logan’s Run and other famous films. The beginning of the musical is incredibly similar to Star Wars as the introduction is played on the screen in the same fashion as the beginning of the film.  I found this to be very fitting as the We Will Rock You musical is created to play homage to a bygone era that is viewed as nostalgic. 

It was certainly a smart move to play Bohemian Rhapsody last, and I liked how it appeared as an encore. The musical piece is referred to all throughout the musical as the ‘Bible’ for the Bohemians.  Everyone within the audience involved themselves in singing or clapping along and at the end the musical received a standing ovation. 

Rating: 5/5

Enjoyed this? Read more on Redbrick Culture! 

Musical Review: Guys and Dolls

Theatre Review: May Queen

Review: The Lion, the Witch and the Panto @UoB