Music: Ben Elton & Queen
Details: The Dominion Theatre, Tottenham Court Road, W1
Tube: Tottenham Court Road
It starts as an epic journey, traversing through decades of rock music highlights and directs the theatregoer into an era of purely digitalized music during the year 3005. Interests mildly piqued and reminded of other futuristic journeys into outer space, I expected a choreographed light sabre sequence or a tribute to droids. I was (clearly) in the wrong theatre. Not only were there no robots, We Will Rock You descends into the most appalling rock clunker of them all, selling out to corporate rock. Like suburban teenage punks rebelling to Yellowcard and AFI, We Will Rock You tells the same anti-establishment story in the established way.
Galileo Figaro (played by Mig Ayesa) is lithe as a snake, making it clear early in the show that he's the best vocalist and dancer. Wrapping his vocals and wiry frame in rock star abandon, Galileo is an endearing contradiction, an idealistic rock star. The rest of the cast served adequately in their parts. Some of the characters (Saramouche, Killer Queen, Britney) take some time to grow on you, if at all. Saramouche (Hannah Jane Fox) particularly displays a charming sullen snarkiness that provides the show with the most laughs.
The biggest disappointment is the plot. It appears as if the writers pulled the quickest route from A to B and decided to stop off for a few too many pints, halfway though; while the first half of the show makes a shrug at a plot, the second deteriorates into a random string of Queen's best songs. Not that that the music, itself, wasn't successful. Any musical incorporating Queen gets eight out of ten in crowd response, hands down. The wildly enthusiastic crowd response agreed as well, chanting to 'We Will Rock You' and waving the glow sticks they bought in the foyer.
While the self-congratulatory attitude of Queen being 'the greatest band of all time' gets tiresome in the end, the finale is worth the wait. The audience joyously sings along with the cast, the latter whom perform Bohemian Rhapsody with the greatest relish seen all night.
Queen has always shown unexpected gratitude to all their fans, performing outstanding free shows. Fans have always responded in kind and this time it's no different. It would've been nice, however, if the added narrative link in this equation showed more creativity this formula.
- Jackie Jou