The scene is a futuristic iPlanet earth, in a time not to far away from the present, dominated by an evil corporation called GlobalSoft, where there is no longer any free thought or live music, and all that is broadcast is “Internet GaGa” to the masses of youth. What happens when a bunch of outcast rebel Bohemians, seeking the lost legend of rock and live music, go looking for their Rhapsody? We Will Rock You tells the story of new outcasts Galileo Figaro and Scaramouche, and their quest to save Rock and Roll – and thus, the whole world!
For those of you who don’t know, my hubby Antok and I are huge fans of watching musicals. We’ve seen quite a few excellent ones over the years, such as Wicked, Jersey Boys, Hairspray, The Lion King and Fame. Where else can you get lost in exhilarating combination of storytelling, dance, music, fantastical costumes and mesmerising set-design?
I had recently noticed the TV ad for We Will Rock You – so when the opportunity came up to go and see the show – I couldn’t resist to say yes (even though it was for a mid-week showing) as a great excuse for a date night. We Will Rock You was crowned the UK’s favourite show at the Olivier Awards in 2011 (British Theatre’s answer to the Oscars), with over 3600 performances, over 3600 standing ovations and over 6 million tickets sold in the UK alone. Worldwide, there have been over 16 million tickets sold!
I’m pleased to say that 16 million others are not wrong, and that We Will Rock You The Musical is up there with the absolute best – for half the evening, we felt like we were at an actual rock concert, waving our hands in the air, being electrified by the energy on stage, cells vibrating with the live electric guitar riffs, being mesmerised by the stage lighting special effects, stomping and clapping along, waving our hands in the air to some of Queen’s finest rock anthems.
I should mention that since Antok is actually an 80s rocker stuck in a Gen-Y body, he especially enjoyed the theme of the show, and it was a great opportunity to crack out the vintage leather jacket, ripped jeans, and rock band shirt for the evening.
If you love the music of Queen (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?) then you will love this awesome musical now playing at the Sydney’s Lyric Theatre (conveniently located at The Star). Imagine the whole theatre full of music fans with their arms above their heads, waving in time to an emotional rendition of “We Are The Champions” and you begin to get a sense of the exhilarating atmosphere.
I was already getting goosebumps (and not from the airconditioning) at the opening number.
The show is filled with talent – Sydney’s cast includes Gareth Keegan (Jersey Boys) as Galileo Figaro and Erin Clare (Phantom of the Opera) as Scaramouche. Brian Mannix, the lead singer of 1980s band Uncanny X-Men, returns to the musical stage as Buddy, and Killer Queen is played by the extraordinary Casey Donovan (The Sapphires, Rent) with Simon Russell (Neighbours) as Khashoggi.
Can we talk about Casey for a moment? Wow, just wow, Casey. I’ve been a fan of her from way back in her Australian Idol days but have never had the privilege to see her perform in front of my eyes. As Killer Queen in We Will Rock You, Casey exudes a terrifying Ursula-esque presence – equal parts formidable and sexy. She plays this role perfectly, and her voice, in real life, rocked my core.
The surprise show-stealing talent was from two delightfully bogan Bohemians who go by the names of “Britney Spears” (Thern Reynolds – Rock of Ages) and “Ozzie Ozbourne” (Jaz Flowers – Hairspray, Fame) – their loveable scally-wag personalities and bold rock voices carried the story through the darker themes, and lightened the atmosphere with their shenanigans.
Filled with lots of universal rock and pop music puns that everyone will get a chuckle out of, and a few cheeky Aussie jokes that locals will appreciate, this musical is fun for almost the whole family (suitable from the age for 13 years and above).
The show ended – as expected – with the entire delighted audience giving the cast and band a well-deserved standing ovation.
Now you’re probably wondering – did the Bohemian’s ever find their Rhapsody?
I’m not going to tell you, so you’ll just have to go see the show to find out!
We Will Rock You is NOW PLAYING in Sydney – get your tickets here before they sell out.