"We Will Rock You" is also a stage musical
, co-written by Ben Elton
and Queen's Bryan May
and Roger Taylor
Warning: story spoilers ahead
The story is set in the future on the planet Mall (once called "Earth") where all musical instruments have been banned and all music is manufactured and fed to the masses by the GlobalSoft Corporation. It follows our hero, Galileo Figaro (yes, that's his name. Clever, huh?) and his girlfriend, Scaramouche as they seek to break free from the 'Ga Ga' world.
His dreams plagued by seemingly nonsensical fragments of poetry, Galileo (or "Gazza" as we come to know him) searches for understanding. He meets Scaramouche when they are both taken prisoner by the evil Killer Queen and Commander Kashoggi. They escape ('break free') from their captors and flee, meeting the "Bohemians" an underground movement who dwell beneath the enormous, gleaming cities that cover the planet.
The Bohemians share Gazza and Scaramouche's strange dreams, and have given themselves names based on what they think are tough, rocking names from the distant past. Unfortunately they have it a little confused. Just ask Britney Spears :)
Gazza hears of an old legend that musical instruments still exist somewhere on the planet Mall, where the mighty axe of the hairy one lies buried in living rock at the Place of Champions. His quest begins....
It might sound somewhat lame (indeed, the whole thing - much like Queen's music is rather tongue in cheek), but We Will Rock You is a very clever piece of work indeed. Ben Elton's comic genius is beautifully interwoven with many of Queen's well-known hits. Queen fans will instantly recognise the songs that sneak their way into the show almost under the radar.
Freddie Mercury is a tough act to follow. The singing of the cast (I saw the show in Melbourne) left a little to be desired. A couple of singers hit some bum notes, or strained with the music.
If nothing else though, this is testament to a few things: Firstly the massive amount of material that Queen released that is instantly recognisable to the general public. There are a further 21 hits that didn't make it into the musical. Think about that for a second. Twenty-one hit songs from one band that did not make it into the show.
Secondly, the brilliance of Freddie Mercury. No singer in the show came close to matching the voice that he possessed, although they tried admirably.
My recommendation is to go and see this show if you get the chance. If you're a Queen fan, don't be put off by the fact that someone else is doing the material, the show works really, really well.