Sydney Lyric Theatre, May 5. Until June 26
We will rock you officially opened last week at The Lyric Theatre, Sydney.
I can guarantee, if you love a fantastical romp through a futuristic world synergistically blended with good Ol’ Rock’n’Roll – QUEEN style – you will definitely enjoy ‘We Will Rock You’.
Written by Ben Elton, the musical is a satirical comedy which tickles at the funny-bones of it’s rock-loving audience. Elton has spent a great deal of time re-writing script and scenes to update from the original production which ran for over 12 years in London’s dominion theatre and has played to millions across the world.
I had my first experience of the show over a decade ago in Las Vegas. Since then Elton has tweaked and updated script and characters to reflect the takeover of social media and the virtual world of cyber-space that has become known as ‘iPlanet’. Ruled by the evil ‘Killer Queen’, iPlanet has become a world filled with people whose souls are owned and regimented by the Globalsoft Corporation.
Casey Donovan of Australian Idol fame plays a convincing ‘Killer Queen’. I have to admit I had never witnessed Casey in action as an actress and found her passionate and engaged in her role as evil nemesis to hero ‘Galileo Figaro’ (Gareth Keegan). Galileo is the accidental hero who does not understand the lines of lyrics and ‘soul’ running through him as he dreams. He happens upon a kindred spirit in the delightful ‘Scaramouche’ (Erin Clare) and together they instinctively stumble upon the last bastion of freedom to survive on iPlanet … You guessed it – The Hard Rock Cafe!
Buddy played by 80’s Aussie Rocker Brian Mannix acts as guru to the ‘Bohemians’ who inhabit the Hard Rock and accept our hero as their long-awaited messiah who is destined to unlock the secret of bringing back rock’n’roll.
Throughout the ensuing shenanigans we are treated no less than 24 legendary Queen hits from ……. To ……… With my particular favourite and show title ‘We Will Rock You’ bringing out the audience’s inner rock god chants, claps, stamps and fist pumps.
Despite Keegan being a little shaky on pitch in the finale on preview night, beyond that he delivered strong vocals throughout.’Scaramouche’ is exquisite vocally and delightfully comedic. Thern Reynolds delivers an energetic and driven performance as ‘Brit’ and side-kick Jaz Flowers as ‘Oz’ is a vocal powerhouse.
I particularly enjoyed the regimented choreography of the Gagas by Siobhan Ginty. Despite a small handful of obvious errors in chorey on preview night, the ensemble singer-dancers in general are passionately engaging high energy performers.
A huge highlight is the incredible band whose technical skill and delivery is simply electrifying. A standing ovation is always a great gauge of the effect a show has in its audience … Just when we all thought the show had closed and cast had taken their bows we were treated to an incredible rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody and the audience rose to its feet once again!
Seriously worth the effort to get along and see We Will Rock You!