Review | We Will Rock You at the Kings Theater in Portsmouth: ‘Queen’s hit songs come to life in the hands of this talented cast’
But of course he didn’t – and thank God for that.
The hit jukebox musical is almost like the love child of a rock concert and a pantomime, with some of the most iconic tunes of all time amid a tongue-in-cheek plot where rock can conquer all .
And in order to tie the songs together, the plot is usable.
The Kings crowd was treated to a surprise guitar solo from Queen legend Brian Ma…
We are introduced to a dystopian future where the evil Globalsoft Corporation controls everything on the iPlanet – making musical instruments and rock music illegal.
It’s up to our main characters Galileo, Scaramouche and a bunch of gypsies to bring rock back to the world and defeat Globalsoft’s boss – the Killer Queen.
Having seen a production of WWRY at the Dominion Theater in London over a decade ago and before most people had even heard of Facebook, it is striking how well the story has managed to stay and become more relevant – during Radio Gaga, the ensemble sings how they “hope to record our life online, touch any key, the world is mine”.
A few changes have been made to the first West End production, with new pop culture references – as well as a nod to Covid – and the song Play the Game replaced and The Show Must Go On added.
But the show’s main draw is of course the music, and that’s where it excels. We know the songs are great, but in the hands of the band and cast of this production, they really come to life.
The female protagonists steal the show. Elena Skye as Scaramouche and Jennifer O’Leary as the Killer Queen are incredibly good, effortlessly belting out hits like Someone to Love and Don’t Stop Me Now respectively.
Ian McIntosh also shines as Galileo with an unrivaled voice and capturing the bravado needed for any rock hero.
Queen fans will never be disappointed with We Will Rock You, and fans of the show itself will revel in this phenomenally talented cast.
And of course, it didn’t hurt that on the night of this review, Queen legend Brian May made a surprise appearance at the end of the show – taking the stage to play his famous guitar solo during of Bohemian Rhapsody’s closing number.
After a micro-second pause as audience members process what they were witnessing, they quickly burst into applause and jumped out of their seats.
It was a performance that no one in the room will ever forget.
At the Kings until Saturday February 12.
A message from the editor, Mark Waldron
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