We Wuz Rocked

Yesterday I saw the wonderful We Will Rock You at the Birmingham Hippodrome. It was truly spectacular – probably, I would say, better than the London production we caught back in 2005.

This touring production stars Kevin Kennedy, alias Curly Watts of Corrie fame, who does a great job as the old hippie Pop, former X Factor finalist Brenda Edwards, who has such unbelievable energy, as the Killer Queen, and Jonathan Wilkes, famous among other things for being Robbie Williams’ best mate, as the evil Khashoggi who wears sunglasses indoors and sports a Hitler Youth-blond quiff.

The two leads, Alex Gaumond as Galileo and Amy Hathaway – who, unbelievably, was actually the understudy – as Scaramouche, demonstrated incredible gusto, as did Wayne A. Robinson as the incongruously named tough guy Britney Spears and Georgina Hagen as Meat (as in Loaf).

The storyline – though derided by critics as silly – is a satirical dig at the increasingly ‘manufactured’ nature of modern music and the consequent dearth of ‘real’ music featuring instruments, and features plenty of typical Ben Elton humour.

A vast number of songs – to name but a few, Radio Ga Ga, Killer Queen, Under Pressure, A Kind of Magic, Headlong, One Vision, Who Wants to Live Forever, These Are the Days of Our Lives and, of course, We Will Rock You – are woven into the story in a skilful, non-cheesy way.

This show is so much more than a musical. The experience is more comparable really to a gig. The fans are encouraged to clap and sing along. Yesterday’s matinee crowd were really up for it, and gave three standing ovations.

I’ve said it before, but the theatre provides a truly addictive buzz for me. I would go and see a show every week if I could. For uplifting escapism the experience cannot be beaten.

WWRY

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