The theaters resume their activities. After being closed for much of the pandemic, the public is buying tickets and enjoying parties throughout the region.
Not that things are simple. The cost of living crisis means people are buying tickets later, which is straining venue cash flow. With wages falling relative to rising prices at the pump, food, energy bills and more, people are finding it harder to go out and are cutting back on what they might normally go to see.
Big blockbusters are therefore at the heart of the offer for venues capable of attracting high-quality shows. At the Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton, a mega-show is fast approaching as it looks forward to hosting a show that has dazzled in recent years.
Rock stars Brian May and Roger Taylor and polymath writer Ben Elton were behind the hit show We Will Rock You and it will soon be heading to the area.
Indeed, what better way to follow the global box office success of Bohemian Rhapsody than with the 2022 UK and Ireland tour of the hit musical Queen and Ben Elton’s We Will Rock You.
Queen fans and musical theater aficionados are invited not to miss this production which promises to deliver the rock, spirit and spectacle of one of the world’s best-selling bands, Queen. Considering the immense success of previous productions, this year’s We Will Rock You tour is sure to be another smash hit.
Since 2002, more than 18 million spectators in more than 20 countries have been delighted by this epic spectacle. After enjoying an incredibly impressive 12-year run at the Dominion Theater in London, followed by numerous triumphant tours and the tenth anniversary world tour in 2013, We Will Rock You will dazzle audiences in multiple venues across the UK and the United Kingdom. Ireland on a seven-month tour. , which began in February.
We Will Rock You is set in a distant, dystopian future where Earth is called Planet Mall and its inhabitants wear the same clothes, think the same thoughts, and exist in a haze of brain death. This system prohibits musical instruments and composers, while rock music is virtually unknown. The musical tells the story of Galileo, Scaramouche, Killer Queen and the other Bohemians.
Audiences can join them on their journey to discover the holy grail of rock and restore the free exchange of thought, fashion and, above all, live music.
Speaking about the process he went through to write the script for the series, Ben Elton, one of Britain’s most celebrated writers, said it became clear to him that the story had to include a quality abstract “that reflected the feel of the word and the music, rather than its literal content”.
He says, “It wasn’t pop music, it was rock music. Some of the most famous and legendary rock music ever written should have a legendary context. I started thinking about legends, both new and old, from King Arthur to The Terminator; heroic myths in which brave individuals take on the vast monolithic force of evil systems.
The musical’s narrative is certainly audacious, so its success is no surprise. If previous reviews are to be believed, then this tour promises to be a must-do: The Daily Telegraph observed: “There was wild applause at the climax of the show…and it only got worse. intensify.
The Financial Times commented, “The power of Queen’s top numbers hits hard”, while the Daily Express was short and sweet in its assessment of the production, calling it simply “spectacular”.
Equally impressive as the show created from their musical canon are the Queen legends themselves, Brian May and Roger Taylor, who had reservations at first about directing a musical.
“We weren’t convinced at first, not being fans of the ‘Musical Theater’ genre as a whole,” says Brian. “The show had to operate in a theatrical context and retain the rock, while incorporating the spectacle, uniqueness and humor embodied by Queen.”
It was certainly an important aspect to include for Roger, who claimed that “We (Queen) took the music seriously, but we never took ourselves seriously. We have always had the ability to laugh at ourselves. Some of the stage equipment and even some of the music is quite humorous. The whole midsection of Bohemian Rhapsody was – we did a lot of stupid stuff and a lot of experimentation.
So it was important to do something new. Brian continues, “If we were going into this area, the challenge was that we would somehow try to make it our own.
Fortunately, this challenge was both accepted and overcome triumphantly.
Brian recalls: “There was a moment when I realized that a whole new realm of creativity was opening up for us if we wanted it – a whole new canvas to paint on.”
And We Will Rock You is certainly creative, with a book written by Ben Elton, who Roger describes as having “such a great active mind that never stops coming up with ideas”.
The show is fun, light-hearted and humorous, but also contains those softer and, at times, heartbreaking moments that allow the audience to become emotionally invested. Ben describes it as “intriguing, thought-provoking, painfully romantic, brutally cynical and both sad and hilarious”.
We Will Rock You undoubtedly mixes all of these elements together and, as Ben wanted it to be received, Roger describes the show as “dumb, but funny and making a lot of serious points while it runs its rather silly course”.
Echoing Brian’s determination to create something “new in every way”, he says the intention was “to keep it a bit gritty and make sure it’s not a typical show”.
If you’ve never seen the show before, you’ll soon find that they accomplished this task with flying colors.
The song We Will Rock You remains one of Queen’s greatest hits, if not the greatest.
He was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2009 and was inspired by Queen’s close relationship with their devoted fanbase.
Seeing all of their fans “crammed in” and wanting to participate, May thought it would be a good idea to come up with a song that their audience could stomp, clap and sing along to. He wrote We Will Rock You in the hope that they would get involved.
“It was the easiest thing I could think of at the time that a crowd could do together and it grew out of our live shows where people were all packed in and wanted to participate, and I just thought ‘What can they do?’ They can dab, they can clap, and they can sing some sort of simple mantra.
The song became an icon and the band never looked back.
The musical, meanwhile, couldn’t seem more relevant today. Set in a world where individuality is no longer valued and performed on a “breathtakingly equipped” and “totally state-of-the-art” stage, the show arguably speaks more than ever to a modern audience.
With today’s emphasis on technological advancement, spirit reading and marriage seem to have become outdated pursuits and Brian recognizes the importance of the musical today.
“I think that’s a really good commentary on how things are going. Ben’s idea that individuality is being eroded every second of the day and that it will soon be impossible for people to write their own music, to think their own thoughts, to write their own poetry is very insightful. .
For Brian, Radio Ga Ga “represents the disease taking over the world. It’s almost like that old ‘man versus machine’ thing, which we also talked about a few albums ago.”
Just as We Will Rock You explores themes relevant to those growing up in today’s world, the tour offers younger generations, who may not have heard this music before, the opportunity to experience the genius musical emblem that is Queen.
Brian says, “I had this very strange thought that it’s entirely possible that this particular musical is the thing that people know our music through 300 years from now.
Speaking of the band’s relevance today, he’s glad the Queen legend has endured.
“I’m pretty shocked at how good this stuff still sounds and it makes me very happy, obviously,” he says.
Queen’s back catalog clearly stands the test of time and this new We Will Rock You tour is sure to be a standout show that delivers fantastic performances and incredible production value.
Added Brian, “We’re sure We Will Rock You fans will love revisiting the world’s first true theatrical rock and a whole new generation will now experience the VIBE!