The music, the show, the actors were amazing!! A good laugh, romance and… ROCK. We Will Rock You, was written by Ben Elton and music and lyrics by the band Queen. With great hits like “Radio Gaga” and “I Want to Break Free”, this was a show that all Freddie Mercury fans will love, and the fans of musical theatre. Everywhere the kids watch the same shows, wear the same clothes, and think the same thoughts . Its a safe happy ‘Ga Ga” world. Unless you’re a complete rebel, and is ready to rock. The story is based in the future at a time when musical instruments have been banned and kids are no longer able to make their own music.
But there is growing resistance from the rebel Bohemians! An underground movement of music lovers is looking for a leader to take them out of the subway and into the real world of rock ‘n’ roll. Instead they are made to be Global Soft’s computer simulated virtual boy and girl bands, playing mindless dull boring records. Global Soft, the corporate giant that now controls the planet’s music industry has demolished youth culture, turning all the boys and girls into cyber zombies, where there only mission in life is to consume the company’s products.
The play consisted of many different themes. They learn lessons in survival, friendships and love along the way, comedy, individuality and evilness. They come to the conclusion that it’s all about “doing things for your baby’s”. Killer Queen is an evil dominatrix, chairwoman of Global Soft she is perceived as the villain in this production. She is determined to stop the Dreamer and find and destroy Queens’s musical instruments. Galileo (Noel Sullivan) who has a superb voice. Alongside Scaramouch (Amanda Coutts) who brings much-needed humour to the show.
They both have a complicated relationship that spirals to new adventures throughout the play. Their constant banter leads to hit songs in the show such as, ‘Hammer to fall’ and ‘Under Pressure’. Even though their relationship seems rough the way they dress and the things they have in common, such as a passion for rock and roll. It brings them close together and makes them stronger, which really indicates to the audience that they are made for each other. It brings excitement and light to the musical. The Bohemians are the group of rock and rollers who ‘want to break free’.
They find individuality a massive part of which they are and will not let Killer Queen (Tiffany Graves) and Commander Kasshoggi (Earl Carpenter) stand in the way of showing the world what true music is, and those they can rock the hardest. The leader of the Bohemians; Pop (Ian Reddington) Meat (Jenny Douglas) the sexy loyal companion of Brittney (Leon Lopez) the cheeky cocky guy who finds the Dreamer. Altogether they bring a wave of attitude and are determined to bring back of the life of queen, discover their music and save the world. They talk about how music and dance is now, and how it may once have been.
The acting throughout the play was very convincing and believable. The scene that caught my eye; and kept me on the edge of my seat was the scene between Pop, Galileo, and Scaramouch. Was when the rocks were trembling and collapsed. This is when Galileo was faced with the electric guitar and discovered the true power of a real life musical instrument? When Scaramouch broke out into a guitar solo and Galileo sings and discovers the lyrics to ‘We Will Rock You’ the crowd was on their feet stomping and clapping to the music, with pure excitement for the drop of the chorus.
Pop was telling everyone to join in and engaging the audience to join in and scream louder. Also at this scene, the characters did come out of role, but was effective because it made the audience feel more connected with the characters. The characters all developed during the play, especially Scaramouch who at the beginning wasn’t as confident but this could be due to nerves due to it being her first performance and nerves do take over. But as the play went on she totally rocked it and could feel her emotions and shined, with the power of her voice brought to this production.
Also the Gaga girls weren’t as enthusiastic towards dancing, but again this could be due to it being their first performance but gradually they developed. Their motivation reached another level and totally owned the stage. The play writer wanted Galileo to be the star of the show he was loud, crazy, and very over the top, which brings the drama strategy of ‘caricature’. He was the mental case and people often misjudged him, even though he was the chosen one, he had all the power, and to bring real music back he was called the ‘Dreamer’.
However his acting ability leaves much to be desired and at times he seems lost and uncomfortable on the large Dominion Stage. But give him a microphone any day and he oozes confidence. The play writer wanted sympathy of the audience to go to Britney spears, who sacrificed his life so that the Future of Rock could last forever, and he would be remembered as the man who gave his life, for the future of music. When Brittney died, his girlfriend Meat was in absolute agony over the death of her perfect lover, she new that he done it for the best, for her and the bohemians.
Overall the acting helps me to feel, and understand the true meaning of living rock! The two characters that contrasted against each other were Galileo and Killer Queen. Galileo is a very playful character with an amazing strike of talent. He showed his emotions by using facial and physical gestures which connected with the audience, because it made it more realistic, believable, and convincing. His social class was of a lower status at first but through throughout the play his status began to rise, until he was a known musical legend.
On the other hand Killer Queen is a very eccentric character with a large frame and voice to match. She is a diva and always wants her own way, and usually doesn’t take no for an answer. She gets a thrill from dominating and intimidating others. She is at the top for ‘playing the game’. The characters created a mixture of atmospheres. For example the lively, happy atmosphere, by the way Galileo spits out his hilarious jokes that don’t mean a thing to him. But leaves the audience in stitches.
His humour isn’t force, its more natural because he isn’t making jokes; he is being himself which is the best way to portray comedy in the play. Unlike Pop who is a peaceful, and sensitive character; who showed a charm and tranquil atmosphere by the way she portrayed herself. For example the only way she communicated with people was by questioning people’s questions, and doubting herself also by acting like a hippie. The lighting was very effective throughout the show, with the use of strobe lighting and the disco ball lights that sparkled across the theatre.
This made it more interesting for the audience and gave the show a magical element. The best part where the lighting was used was the fight between Brittney and the Cop; where they had a fight off and the strobe lighting was showing every move but in likes a robotic effect. The music was a massive element to this show, because every scene there was a new song. It created different atmospheres such as happy, sad, and love varying on what type of mood the song was. But having music makes it more satisfying and exciting for the audience to watch.
All the songs in the musical where originally sung by Queen, so this definitely is musical for Queen Fans. There weren’t really a lot of props involved in this musical the only prop that was constantly used was the guitar and it contributed in the last scene when Galileo first played the notes of we will rock you. It created a raw atmosphere, because it shows that playing the guitar is a hard thing to do and Galileo certainly pulled it off. The Set was changing in every scene and was bringing us to new places and journeys.
Using sets make it more entertaining and amusing for the audience and makes it more naturalistic. Sophisticated hydraulics and huge video screens bearing computer-animated scenes a colorful, if rather unimaginative, vision of the future. The choreography is similarly slick with dancers in cyber-punk outfits carrying out their duties for the mistress Killer Queen. The scene backgrounds were symbolic because for example, when they showed the bohemian scenes were the people that dressed rock and roll. They had rock posters and pictures of guitars everywhere this shows that it was symbolic.
The costumes were basically differed to each other, because the ‘Ga Ga’ kids where dressed in plain white consisting of miniskirts and cropped tops for the girls. For the boys white is well but with shorts and white top. This was what everyone dressed in except the bohemians. They wore a mish mash of clothing they threw a load of things together, fishnets, jeans, leather etc. They looked really cool and whacky. It makes it more realistic and life like and it really made the characters more in role and showed who was who.
The moments that stood out for me was the song that Meat sang ‘no one nut you’. This song is a very emotional ballad, and nearly had me in tears. In the musical after the ensemble have recalled the names of a number of musicians who died young; such as Buddy Holly, Jimmie Hendrix, and Janice Joplin, Michael Jackson. She then culminates in saying the name ‘Freddie’ as a tribute to Freddie Mercury. It stood out for me because it was the only song in the play, where it was just her singing. No fancy dancers or moves but simply just her and her voice.
She puts all her heart into that song and that is what makes it so emotional. In this scene she was singing so was obviously hard to use drama techniques, but she certainly used marking the moment, because there was one point in the song where there was a climax and she belted out that high note, and the spotlight was just on her and defiantly was to focus attention on one area of the stage. Secondly another part of the production which stood out for me was the scenes were Galileo and Scaramouch was having an argument, but it was just full of jokes, and sarcasm.
One quote they used during this scene was when Galileo said ‘I have a mind of an artist’ and Scaramouch replies ‘Yeah a crap artist’. This is the scene where both characters completely mock each other, and they break out into the song ‘Hammer to fall’. It stood out because this song was filled with caricature, every move and gesture was over the top. An example was when Galileo was pretending to play the guitar, and Scaramouch copies him but completely mugged him off. He felt like he had to show that he was the ‘man’ in this relationship. It ended up with an endless amount of caricature, and exaggeration throughout this piece.
My overall take on this play We Will Rock You is by no stretch of the imagination the most sophisticated piece of theatre, but with its amplification of known and loved songs. It is one of the best plays that I have ever seen, it is most certainly a must see. Characters ensemble and singing was absolutely super, it’s a great sing along. Beyond that the storyline is engaging and the main characters are very comical at times. I will be definitely seeing this show again at London Dominion Theatre again. The costumes were amazing, the set and dancing were so good. You must go and see this truly entertaining show.