IT HAS been 20 years since Ben Elton first wrote the book to accompany Queen’s songs and lyrics to create the musical ‘We will Rock You’.
To be honest when I saw it back then I thought the music was a sensational tribute but the book a little silly sci-fi which annoyed more than it entertained.
Now this new version two decades on is a very different kettle of fish – whilst it is still a silly sci-fi, Elton has cleverly used world events and inventions to brush his old lamp and like Aladdin did – he’s released his genie and his genius. What was trite – now is witty and what rocked before – rocks louder.
Michael McKell as Cliff, Adam Strong as Khashoggi, Ian McIntosh as Galileo, Edward Leigh (standing in for David Michael Johnson) as Brit all rocked their socks off for us – whilst Martina Ciabatti Mennell, Elena Skye as Scaramouche and Jenny O’Leary as the Killer Queen were off the Richter Scale.
The band under the electronic baton of Zachary Flis are tight and feisty with a special shout out to guitarists James Barber and Simon Croft – oh hells bells let’s name them all they were so good, Matt Herbert on piano, Neil Murray on bass and David Cottrell on drums
If you think you know the show because you’ve seen it before – think again. Yes of course it’s still a jukebox musical but it’s now so much cleverer.
In fact I’d describe it as a ’Pass the Parcel’ musical, as it unwraps it just keeps on giving even when we reach the walkdown where we think it’s all over – but it’s not!
Ben Elton with his director’s hat on has one big surprise left to give us. You’ll have to book a ticket to find out as my lips are sealed.
We Will Rock You runs at the Birmingham Hippodrome until July 30.
Click here for times, tickets and more information.
Review by Euan Rose
Euan Rose Reviews