We Will Rock You is a musical play, based on the songs of Queen and named after their hit single of the same name. The musical was written by English comedian and author Ben Elton in collaboration with Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor.
Summary: London Version
(Note that in different productions of We Will Rock You the story and songs are changed slightly to better reach the target audiences.)
The story is set in the unspecified, vaguely Orwellian future. Earth's name has been changed to Planet Mall. As the name would suggest, mainstream commercial conformity reigns. Everywhere on the planet, people watch the same movies, listen to computer-generated music, wear the same clothes and hold the same thoughts and opinions. Musical instruments and composers are forbidden, and rock music is all but unknown. Representative government has been eliminated. All are controlled by the Worldwide mega-corporation Globalsoft, which is headed by the "Killer Queen" and the commander of her secret police, the evil Khashoggi. Those who dare to stand against Globalsoft's enforced conformity are kidnapped and "brain stormed" into submission.
However, a small group of "Bohemians" struggles to restore the free exchange of thought, fashion, and (most of all) live music. As with the classic quest stories that it spoofs, the musical includes both a Messiah figure, the social outcast Galileo Figaro, and a MacGuffin that will restore freedom, the lost guitar of Queen guitarist, Brian May.
Together with his love interest, another dissident whom Galileo calls Scaramouche, Galileo joins with the Bohemians to find the guitar, and overthrow Globalsoft. However, when the Bohemians are captured and brain stormed, Galileo and Scaramouche are forced to flee for their lives.
Eventually they meet Pop, an older, hippie-esque Bohemian who yearns for the "old days" when people were free and Rock & Roll was king...or Queen as the case may be. Again fulfilling the classic role of "Guide" for the two, Pop shows them a fragment of the Queen video (which ends after the opening lyrics), "Bohemian Rhapsody," further inspiring them. Impressed by the “heavenly music,” Galileo and Scaramouche eventually decide to search for the guitar at Wembley Stadium, the location of two legendary concerts by Queen. Though the Stadium is a ruin, they find the guitar hidden in a wall. With guitar in hand, and Pop serving as "roadie" for the two saviors, they perform a rousing rendition of the title song, "We Will Rock You," and conclude with a marvelous arrangement of "Bohemian Rhapsody."
Played for laughs, there is very little real story to We Will Rock You. While the musical is a spoof of the classic quest tale with some moments of clever dialogue, it exists predominately as a framework allowing a vocally talented cast to perform covers of Queen's greatest hits. Songs included in the production may vary from theatre to theatre, but generally include favorites such as "Another One Bites the Dust," "Hammer to Fall," "A Kind of Magic," and more.
Some pundits have noted a striking similarity between the show's plot and that of 2112, the classic concept album by Canadian rock band Rush, released in 1976. It also suggests Frank Zappa's "Joe's Garage", and to a lesser extent, Styx's "Kilroy was here" and Queensryche's "Operation: Mindcrime."
We Will Rock You opened in 2002 at the Dominion Theatre in London, England. The first North American venue was the Paris Las Vegas hotel and casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The show has had successful runs in Australia, Tokyo, Moscow and Las Vegas, Nevada, but these productions have since closed. As of 2006 it is still playing in England, Spain, South Africa and Germany.
The original London production was scheduled to close on Saturday 7th October 2006 at the Dominion Theatre. Due to public demand, however, the show has now been extended indefinitely as it enters its fifth year.
In 2006 the show is scheduled to open in Argentina, Canada, Chile, and Portugal with a German language touring production opening in Zurich.
The musical will open in Toronto, Canada at the Princess of Wales Theatre, it will replace The Lord Of The Rings, which is leaving for London in September. Brian May confirmed that it will be an all new Canadian version of the musical.
A North American tour and a UK nationwide tour are currently in the pipeline.
London Cast Members
Original London Cast
November 2002 London Cast
April 2003 London Cast
Ensemble: Mig Ayesa (understudy Galileo and Pop), Luke Baxter (Big Macca, understudy Khashoggi and Pop), Stuart Dawes, Clare Foster (understudy Meat), Jye Frasca (Cliff Richard, understudy Big Macca), Elaine Gee, Dalh Haynes, Chris Holland (understudy Big Macca and Britney), Nic Ineeson, Cameron Jack (understudy Khashoggi and Britney), Jodie Jacobs (understudy Scaramouche), Alex Jessop (understudy Galileo), Peter Johansson, Jenna Lee-James (understudy Scaramouche and Meat), Rory Locke, Gemma Maclean (understudy Meat), Adam Murray, Mazz Murray (teacher and understudy Killer Queen) Jai Ramage, Tamara Wall, Emma Woods
Swings: Giorgia Barberi (also dance captain), Bekki Carpenter, Nikki Dyer, Alex Forster, Matthew Hudson, Mark Marson, Sarah O'Gleby
November 2003 London Cast
April 2004 London Cast
April 2005 London Cast
August 2005 London Cast
February 2006 London Cast
Killer Queen: A Tribute to Queen