WE WILL ROCK YOU IS AT THE ALHAMBRA
The Alhambra literally rocked as the latest version of the musical ‘We Will Rock You’ burst onto the stage to rapturous applause.
On the back of the phenomenal success of the recent movie Bohemian Rhapsody, the biopic of Freddie Mercury and Queen ‘We Will Rock You’ has been re-packaged and given a nip and tuck and put out on tour
The musical, which premiered in London in 2002, was the creation of Ben Elton, who wrote the book and features the music and lyrics of the iconic group Queen.
The central plot focusses on a group of teenagers living in a future time and place where rock music is not heard and instruments are banned and the narrative is built around Queen’s legendary pop hits.
It follows the adventures of Galileo and Scaramouche, who strive to break free from this cyber world of the future. Along the way they are arrested by the Ga Ga Cops, face the ultimate anger of the Killer Queen, encounter Bohemian rebels and find time to fall in love before triumphantly finding the planet’s last musical instrument.
This new version has been heavily updated with references to the X-Factor and Euro Disney to name but a few. The new script is full of pantomime like innuendoes, the storyline doesn’t flow and ends without any final outcome of the story.
The show’s success is highly dependent on some excellent musicians, spectacularly video and images projected onto LED walls, amazing special effects and some superbly designed costumes and makeup.
Director Cornelius Baltus’s production is seamless and incorporates some amazing ideas. The musical numbers are fast and furious and superbly choreographed but at times they could do with the scissors taking to them as they just go on too long. The dialogue too is rather slow and becomes very laboured at times.
The production has a talented high energy cast who sing and dance their way through 25 Queen anthems without pausing for breath and develop some superb characterizations.
Outstanding performances come from Adam Strong as Khashoggi, the arch-baddie and David Michael Johnson and Amy Di Bartolomeo as Brit and Oz.
If you love the music of Queen you will adore this production. We Will Rock You has a great feel good factor and is an experience that is guaranteed to have you rocking all the way to the car park and singing the songs for days afterwards
The show runs at Bradford Alhambra until 22 February.
Liz Coggins is a member of the Critics Circle.