On the back of the huge success of Mamma Mia over a decade ago We Will Rock You jumped on the juke box musical band wagon. With a slaughtering from the press and a sneering theatre community foretelling its closure before its opening night had drawn to a close it has proved them all wrong.
The continued popularity of the mighty Queen back catalogue has endured and allowed this monster show to continue growing around the world. Ben Elton’s flawed book that seemed so ridiculous then has somehow been given a level of credibility as the music industry has continued to evolve (or devolve) around us and make his words seem more prophecy than comedy.
Set in a future where musical instruments and ‘real’ music have been banned it tells the story of how computer generated ‘Ga Ga’ is taking over the world (now known simply as the iplanet!). The suggested villain of the piece is one Simon Cowell with the X Factor being squarely given the blame for music’s demise. The irony of course is that Brenda Edwards who plays Killer Queen, vamp, Goddess and CEO of the Globalsoft empire that now runs said iplanet shot to stardom on that self-same show!
But let’s not think too deeply about this. This is simply a blast from start to finish and never pretends to be philosophic. The Queen music is really what we have all come for and we get it in spades. The onstage band play themselves for all they are worth and never disappoint. With original members of Queens backing band up there we can feel in safe hands with the music that we are all so familiar with.
The still impressive set fills the enormous Dominion stage and boasts some of the most spectacular lighting in the West End. Edwards belts out her hits as Killer Queen with gusto and has an impressive elasticity to her face that makes for plenty of laughs. Oliver Tompsett and Rachael Wooding as Galileo and Scaramouche work nicely together although never really set the stage ablaze.
Solid performances too from Kevin Kennedy as Pop and Alasdair Harvey as Khashoggi help in the comedy stakes. It is only Amanda Coutts that really makes you sit up and take notice with an electrifying voice that hits the back of the net on more than one occasion. Her No-one but You (only the good die young) stops the show in its tracks.
It’s big, loud and impressive. If that’s as far as your expectations go then you will be in for a treat, even after a decade of rocking.