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'We Will Rock You' (The Queen musical)


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I finally got round to seeing Ben Elton's musical We Will Rock You tonight. Forged purely from the music of Queen (and co-produced by Robert DeNiro of all people), it's a high profile musical that started in London last May, and I finally got around to seeing what all the hype has been about.

 

Musicals, be they on stage or screen, are always light on plot. We Will Rock you was no exception, and even had some room for improvement here with Elton taking a few quick gags at the expense of pop culture and song titles, that said, there's some excellent knocks against the manufactured music industry which essentially forms the heart of what the play is about. More here at the official site for those interested.

 

I dare say few video gaming geeks give much of a damn about theatre and musicals, so I shall get to the interesting point. We Will Rock You is not without its atmosphere and spectacle. It's hard to go wrong with Queen, and the cast certainly don't. It's all ridiculously well performed and entertaining and this overshadows all dodgy scripting. The production design too was quite a marvel, and was really incredibly inventive with its use of projection screens. So I come to my point...

 

During the performance of Another One Bites the Dust, the character Killer Queen decides to dispense of her number one stooge Khashoggi (stay with me here, people :) ). And so the song begins, and the ensemble take to the stage. The main video screen splits into about seven segments. Three at the top, two central along the bottom, and one either side.

?Game Start? flashes on the top three, and suddenly it?s space invaders. Not some cheap knock off, but the original space invaders being played out on these seven massive projection screens on stage before you!!! This was just the start though. ?Level One Complete? came the next flash, and then, Max Payne, Destruction Derby, Jet Set Radio, Halo, Resident Evil, Ocarina of Time, Virtua Fighter (looked like 3), Soul Calibur, it was image overload of videogames. I lost count and just couldn?t keep up with that game footage was being used as footage from various games graced the seven screens. A visual spectacle of orgasmic proportions playing out on stage before you.

 

I couldn?t help but think that it was not only a brilliantly innovative piece of production design, but downright neat! Brilliant show as a whole to boot.

 

Daniel

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