WE WILL ROCK YOU – *PRESS NIGHT
13/01/2020 @ HULL NEW THEATRE
4/5 **** (gifted tickets)
2020 is looking set to be a great year for live theatre for me. Last year, I rediscovered my love of musicals and want to build on that this year, seeing more shows than ever. I’ve also been lucky enough to get on the press list for my local theatre, which is where I was on Monday evening.
The first event of the year was We Will Rock You, a musical I’ve always been sceptical of seeing. I’ve been a Queen fan for as long as I can remember. Freddie Mercury is my favourite frontman of any band and I have such fond memories of singing along to Queen on family road trips.
This time, I took my dad along so after our trip to Prezzo for some much-needed Italian food (and with a 40% off coupon), we went off for a night at the theatre. We both regrettably read some reviews of the tour online, where people thought they were going to see a Queen tribute band. One person even expressed not knowing any Meatloaf songs so I assume they’re getting We Will Rock You and Bat Out of Hell mixed up!
Genuinely, I was much more impressed than I thought I would be. I knew it had a weird storyline but most people will see the show for the songs anyway. For me, the story was a little lacklustre and could’ve been a little more cohesive. There were very few links into the songs so it felt like the dialogue was just a filler before breaking into song. I did appreciate the pop culture references and anytime you can get Britney Spears into a musical, I’m a fan.
Now onto the good bits. The cast of the tour are phenomenal, especially the women. None of them are Freddie impersonators, which makes every song sound fresh and specifically written for the show. The standouts for me were Elena Skye as Scaramouche and Adam Strong as Khashogossi. I saw Adam in the 2019 UK tour of Rock of Ages in Leeds where again he was a showstopper. In We Will Rock You, I wish we got to hear him sing more as his range is through the roof! Elena’s Scaramouche was tough and witty, with some serious pipes. This is a high-energy, in-your-face production so the actors have to be larger than life!
The production elements were certainly one of the highlights. The staging was top drawer, with LED screens taking centre stage in various parts. Even an old-school TV and video player feature at one point! The costumes, hair, wigs and make-up are another feature so you can tell this is not a cheap production!
After being unsure what to expect, it definitely exceeded my expectations. Like I said, the show isn’t perfect but the talented cast makes up for the lack of a plot. The story is a little mad and out-there but the songs certainly carry it through. You can tell why it’s the ninth longest-running show to be on the West End.
You can catch the tour of We Will Rock You as it continues throughout the UK, with all upcoming dates here.
Have you seen We Will Rock You before on the West End or on this current UK tour?
Were you as impressed with the cast as I was?
Leave me a comment below or come and chat to me on Twitter about it!