It’s the year 2300 and the internet controls every element of our lives. Rock and roll ceases to exist and the only music that remains is electronically-generated pop. Galileo (Ian McIntosh), confused by his dreams of iconic rock songs that we all know and love, alongside rebellious bad-ass, Scaramouche (Elena Skye) embark on a quest to bring back rock and roll.
The musical includes 24 of Queens finest hits such as ‘Radio Ga-ga’, ‘Killer Queen’, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and of course, ‘We Will Rock You’. The lyrics of ‘Radio Ga Ga’ are cleverly adapted to “Internet Ga Ga” which, along with the internet-obsessed characters, is an insightful critique on how our generation has become gaga for technology.
Before the play begins, a galactic background dominates the stage, instantly transporting the audience into the future. The set design throughout the play is carefully thought-out with a structural, grey background highlighting the boring, internet-controlled future. This is contrasted with the colourful decor of the rebel base which featured references to pop culture with posters of David Bowie, Queen and ‘Pelvis’ (Elvis).
Similarly, the costumes create a contrast between the rebels and the internet gaga characters who wear futuristic, shiny outfits reminiscent of the outfits of today’s pop stars. The rebels wear darker clothes – classic rock and roll looks – with studded belts and ripped jeans and spiked hair straight out of a 70s punk band.
Jenny O’Leary’s powerful vocals as Killer Queen excel all expectations in her songs ‘Killer Queen’ and ‘Seven Seas of Rhye’. She captivates the audience with every note – the power in her voice highlighting her villainous character.
Between the beautifully performed Queen songs, comedy written by Ben Elton is carefully placed. With many pop culture references (or should I say rock culture references) adapted into humour to made the futuristic play feel relevant to today’s society. For example, the characters are named after modern celebrities such as Oz (Amy Di Bartolomeo) and Brit (David Micheal Johnson) aptly named after Ozzy Osbourne and Britney Spears.
A statement moment of the show is when the cast break the fourth wall to engage with the audience; the atmosphere in the room is ecstatic as a sea of rock fans clap along to the iconic beat of ‘We Will Rock You’ .
We Will Rock You is a beautiful tribute to Queen and the songs that changed the music industry and the way we see rock music. The message of the play is a gentle reminder that although the internet dominates our lives, we must not lose the spirit of rock and roll.
Featured Image: Johan Persson.