We Will Rock You - 10 May 2003

The year is around 2300, live music does not exist and Globalsoft, under the direction of the Killer Queen, dictates the music and lifestyle of the world's population. Yet a band of bohemians live for the legend that a man will be found who will release rock music back to the world. The self named Galileo Figaro is the man in question and though not wanting to spoil the ending it will be no surprise to know he succeeds, sings 'We will rock you' and 'We are the champions' and the world is released from it's techno nightmare.

That is the story of We Will rock You, a little thin to say the least but the music is Queen and it is entertaining, fun and enjoyable.

Tony Vincent has a unique stage demeanor and presence and he was brilliant as Galileo, the misfit and dreamer who continually has words appearing in his head, unbeknownst to him from songs from many years before. This man can sing, no question, and knows how to deliver a song effectively. He captured the slight uncertainly and edginess of Galileo’s character which contrasted really well with his partner in crime Scaramouche (so named by Galileo in one of his lyrical moments) played by Jenna Lee-James. She was one down to earth, spade is a spade, no nonsense girls. As misfit as Galileo alternately falling for and bickering with him but romance of course wins the day. She was excellent, great singing voice and had a good relationship with Tony Vincent.

The Killer Queen is a formidable presence in the hands of Sharon D. Clarke, one lady not to be messed, wonderful costumes added to her presence and she delivered her songs with a great ‘diva’ style. Clive Carter was her right hand man Khasigoggi and whilst he played the part well his voice is not entirely comfortable with a rock style.

The bohemians are a free organization living in the derelict underground, dressed and named after the music ‘icons’ of yesteryear. This is Madonna, Cliff, Meatloaf, Britney, Charlotte Church, Bob the Builder and Paul McCartney as you have never seen them before. Cameron Jack (Britney Spears) and Kerry Ellis (Miss Meat Loaf) were part of thus group and created a good counterpart to the other main characters, both giving strong performances both acting and singing. Finally Nigel Planer played Pop, a hippy and old music man who helps Galileo and Scaramouche find the mythical ‘musical’ instrument. The show doesn’t ask for in depth or deep characters but all the main players have strong individual presences and styles , parts which in less capable hands could easily cause the downfall of the show. The ensemble were tight, strong although fairly underused in Act 2. Choreography was very precise as per the lifestyle and the sets of TV screens creating the idea of this modern society were most effective in the opening of acts 1 and 2.

The show’s script is, as would be expected from Ben Elton, sharp, witty, up to date and complete with innuendos. The story structure overall could have been brought together tighter and especially for the final scene where any real impact was lost as the ensemble stood around as Tony sang the final numbers. Tony delivered the songs fabulously but the overall look of the scene was untidy and unfinished.

Easy watching, easy entertainment and an overall excellent cast which ensure that a high standard of performance is maintained throughout.

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