We Will Rock You has returned to the place it first played outside England, The Regent Theatre in Melbourne.
The original Australian production in 2003 was the first time Roger Taylor, Brian May and Ben Elton had taken their original production outside the UK. The show was a smash hit eventually touring Australia then Japan and continuing through until January 2007.
Even if you saw it before We Will Rock You 2016 is worth seeing all over again. The show itself is a kind of magic for Queen. It keeps the music of the band alive and the name of the band visible at a time when Queen no longer regularly tours. Brian and Roger venture out on occasional live events including the recent world tour with Adam Lambert. We Will Rock You gives fans the chance to experience the music, probably for forever and a day.
The show itself is forever evolving with character names added to fit the culture of the day. (Justin Bieber is name-checked in the current show. He was eight when the show first started). References to new technologies such as social media, smartphones, Facebook and Twitter have also refreshed the relevance of the show for a 2016 audience.
The cast is well-chosen. Casey Donovan was never everyone’s favourite Australian Idol but in the theatre, she is a real star commanding the role of Killer Queen throughout the show and making the character larger than life.
Brian Mannix as Buddy is not all that far out of real life as the hippie rocker Buddy. He also customises some of the show’s best lines, including a reference to his band Uncanny X-Men.
In previewing the show to media Ben Elton addressed criticism that Freddie Mercury would have hated it. “Freddie would have loved it,” Ben said, citing a letter from Freddie’s mother who said Freddie never took himself too seriously.
Gareth Keegan and Erin Clare play the perfect lead roles of Galileo and Scaramouche.
Gareth played the lead role of Stormy in Cat Stevens ‘Moonshadow’, he was the alternate Frankie Valli in the Australian production of Jersey Boys and toured with Hugh Jackman in Broadway To Oz.
Erin is new to the stage only graduating from Lasalle College of the Arts in 2013. She recently performed in the Sydney and Brisbane production of Heathers.
The plot to the show itself takes a secondary position to the music. The story is set in the future long after music becomes extinct. Like I said, you are there for the songs.
Watch the Noise11 We Will Rock You preview
We Will Rock You dates
Venue: Regent Theatre
Season: From 30 August 2016
Performance Times: Tues 7pm, Wed-Sat 8pm, Sat matinee 2pm, Sunday 1pm & 6pm
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