It was a night of dynamic vocals to the unparalleled music of Queen. The jukebox musical follows the story of young Galileo Figaro and his ‘chick’ Scaramouche on their journey to escape the strains of Global Soft, the online sphere that now dominates planet earth, and find true rock and roll once more. Along the way they meet fellow rebels, the bohemians, who help them source the place where legends once rocked.
“It was a night of dynamic vocals to the unparalleled music of Queen”
The plot itself is quite simple as the focus seems to be more on the songs of Queen than a deep storyline. Nevertheless, we are absorbed into the story as we route for the young rebels to escape the internet and find real music. This was done exceptionally well by Ian McIntosh who performed as Galileo. His characterisation of the lone rebel had the audience captivated by his performance and was matched with phenomenal vocals that had people chanting for more.
“Queen fans who go for the songs along would not have been disappointed as the vocals were second to none”
His partner in crime, Scaramouche, was played by Elena Skye. Her vocals were stunning, and audiences were amazed by them in the likes of ‘Somebody To Love’ and their duet ‘Who Wants To Live Forever’. Unfortunately, her on stage presence wasn’t as captivating as her co-star, suggesting the casting (by David Martin CDG) placed emphasis on vocal ability to perform the challenging Queen songs over acting performance. As someone who enjoys the theatre, I felt let down by this, yet Queen fans who go for the songs along would not have been disappointed as the vocals were second to none and even had audience members crying.
The world of the play is a place ran by Global Soft and everything is online. There is no more live music and individuality is frowned upon. This enterprise is controlled by Killer Queen Played by Jennie O’Leary. Her strong power ballads, including ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ and ‘Fat Bottom Girls’, were performed with great vocal strength and style but lacked the dominating and seductive nature of Killer Queen that I have seen in previous productions, again an example of the focus on vocals for the casting.
“[The production] hit home to audience members old and young about the importance of live music, spending time away from cyber space and being yourself”
Although set in the future, the references to remembering the good old days are still relevant to today’s society and hit home to audience members old and young about the importance of live music, spending time away from cyber space and being yourself. The futuristic feel was strongly supported by lighting design by Rib Sinclair. The effects of stars and various projections including codes and lazers helped us feel like we were in the future and it enhanced the set.
“The costumes by Kentaur brought to life the robot-like characteristics of the ‘Gaga Kids’ who were the products of life online”
The costumes by Kentaur brought to life the robot-like characteristics of the ‘Gaga Kids’ who were the products of life online. Their shiny silver uniform costumes and sharped edged wigs in blondes and pastels stripped away any individualism and worked to contrast those kids of the future with the rebels who dressed in fragments of costumes they could find.
“Although the story line may not be the most engaging overall, it lends itself for a great night at the theatre”
Overall, the cast performed the well-loved Queen songs to an exceptional standard as audiences have high expectations of these songs and they didn’t disappoint. Although the story line may not be the most engaging overall, it lends itself for a great night at the theatre and everyone in awe of their vocal abilities and singing along with their hands in the air to ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ to end the night on a high.
We Will Rock You will be performed at Nottingham Royal Concert Hall from Thursday 28th of November to Saturday 30th of November.
Featured image courtesy of Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall Official Facebook Page.
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