We Will Rock You Reviews: What the Audience Thought:
“We Will Rock You is an age old story of a quest, interspersed with love, comedy and pantomime vallauns aplenty…[the] effects will truly make your jaw drop (the hologram waterfall is just amazing)…Yes, this is pantomime that is good for the whole year around. All that’s missing are spontaneous shouts of ‘He’s behind you!!!’ bursting from young throats. It’s a glorious romp. Good solid fun.” CHRIS HIGH Read more.
“Sabrina Aloueche was just the fantastic Scaramouche I remembered her to be – smart, witty and with a fantastic voice as well. She sang Somebody to Love like I had always wanted to hear it sung, which was a pleasure to listen to…The ensemble of the show were as tight and strong as ever, with every single vocal being top notch. We Will Rock You really is one of those shows where every single vocal in the show takes you by surprise.” WEST END WENDY Read more.
“Fair warning is given at the nature of the production, with music played very loud and very live. Eardrums that crinkle from the start listen on as the disembodied voice of Ben Elton tells the audience to put away their ring tones and bootlegging visual devices. From the start it is loud and the energy flows hard, fast and all throughout…One of the best performances [I have] seen in terms of both theatre and music. [It is] Magical to see the force of Queen’s hit songs so wildly brought to life with a script and story that darts between the crude and the fairly dry.” THE WAX CONSPIRACY Read more.
Our We Will Rock You Review:
If Mamma Mia is the mother of all Jukebox musicals then We Will Rock You has to be the grand-father. From humble critical beginnings the show, which features songs by Queen and a ‘plot’ by comedian Ben Elton, is still packing in audiences at the colossal Dominion Theatre as it goes into its 10th year in the West End. During this decade the musical has scooped a string of awards including the 2010 Olivier Award for Most Popular Long Running Show. The musical has been seen by hundreds of thousands of fans and has recently begun a second UK nationwide tour. What is it about this show that makes Queen fans old and new go GAGA? It certainly isn’t the tongue-in-cheek plot that centres around a dystopian future where rock music has been banned. Neither is it the flat libretto that shamelessly features over 30 of the band’s favourite hits. Whilst Ben Elton’s side of the bargain seems to be grievously underwhelming, the songs themselves and the stunning vocal performances of standards such as ‘Somebody to Love’, ‘I Want to Break Free’ and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ literally results in the audience begging for more, and like Mamma Mia before it; the show knows how to deliver.
This musical spectacular is staged in a way that even Freddie himself would be proud of, with everything from an oversized motorbike to a disused tube station utilised to create the 1984-esque story of a group of young Bohemian’s fighting against a cruel regime. The story is brought to life by a young and energetic ensemble who feature as GaGa kids – the brainwashed majority who are addicted to technology which is controlled by Killer Queen and her incompetent henchman Khashoggi. The show features all the ingredients of a good pantomime, including the ‘celebrity’ appeal of Coronation Street’s Curly Watts (Kevin Kennedy) as the philosophical character Pop, who delivers lines about washed up has-beens that scrape a little too close to the bone. X Factor finalist Brenda Edwards shows off her belt as Killer Queen, a role which she has previously played on tour, and she is joined by Alex Gaumond as Galileo, the ‘black sheep’ rebel of the show. The current cast is not the strongest it has been over the past 10 years, with Gaumond’s uncharismatic voice sounding more like Kermit the Frog than a rebellious rocker. Efforts by the production team to update the show now include references to X Factor, Brittney Spears and Lady Gaga, but overall the show does feel dated within the context of the West End.
With shows such as Jersey Boys and Backbeat offering a grittier and more realistic approach to the jukebox genre, We Will Rock You continues rocking like the last man standing at the office Christmas party; slightly fragile and a more than a little bit out of tune.
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Are you one of the thousands of theatregoers who have flocked to the Dominion Theatre to see We Will Rock You since its opening in 2002? If so, we want to hear your We Will Rock You Reviews! Was the musical a fitting tribute to Queen’s music, or did the songs upstage the story? Was the concept too bizarre for you to take in, or did you love the tongue-in-cheek take on satire? Share your reviews with other Queen fans and audience members by leaving your comments in the box below!