We Will Rock You at The Regent Theatre – guaranteed to blow your mind

The jukebox musical written by author and comedic genius Ben Elton, We Will Rock You, is at The Regent Theatre this week – and it’s guaranteed to blow your mind.

Based on the songs of British rock band Queen, the story transports audiences 300 years into the future where music is nothing but computer generated pop, and people have uploaded their souls onto the Globalsoft platform.

Free thinking, fashion and live music are long gone, but few rebellious Bohemians rely on the prophecy of a ‘dreamer’ who will restore rock and roll once and for all, with the help of a video tape pronounced a-la Nigella Lawson’s ‘microwave’.

Credit: Johan Persson

I performed in a high school production of We Will Rock You a decade ago, so I was vaguely familiar with the show, which was first performed in 2002.

But Ben has frequently updated the script to keep it fresh, relevant and packed with tongue-in-cheek pop culture references, including links about Covid and Free Britney.

Read more: As You Like It – New Vic Theatre and Northern Broadsides’ Shakespeare performance

At the start of the show, we were informed that it would be understudies Damien Walsh and Anna Davey performing as Galileo Figaro and Scaramouche. Both performers were fantastic in their roles with great on-stage chemistry. Davey’s vocals were deliciously raspy, and harmonised well with Walsh, who played a likeable leading part.

Audiences were welcome to have a dance to the 24 hit Queen tracks performed live during the show, but were hilariously asked not to sing, and leave that bit to the pros. 

Credit: Johan Persson

Killer Queen, performed by Jenny O’Leary as the Killer Queen, was phenomenal. Jenny’s sass, confidence and general evil villainess vibes were just brilliant and really kept all eyes on her across the stage. Her rendition of Don’t Stop Me Now also had everyone in stitches, but her vocals really are magnificent, with qualities of both Shakira and Christina Aguilera. 

Michael McKell was a great Cliff Richard, while Brit (Britney Spears) and Meat, second name Loaf, also deserve a mention for their dedication to the cause.

Read more: Rock of Ages at The Regent Theatre staring Strictly’s Kevin Clifton

The sci-fi musical also sees tracks like We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions and Somebody To Love all performed with live vocals and instruments, complete with all the magic expected of a Queen stadium show.

The narrative really leaves you considering your screen time and data usage, and how apps are all competing for our time and attention. While WWRY is set 300 years in the future, the idea of ‘souls’ being uploaded to the world wide web probably isn’t that far fetched.

Credit: Johan Persson

Following Covid-19, it’s more poignant than ever that We Will Rock You celebrates not only rock icons like Queen, but live performance in general – something that was dearly missed in 2020 and 2021.

We Will Rock You is loud, hilarious and rebellious – a big middle finger to the digital era – and really is not to be missed. I laughed all the way through and got a little emotional at times too – but that’s the power of live performance. 

And a little like Marvel movies – be sure to stay after the finale for a bit of a ‘secret scene’.

We Will Rock You is at The Regent Theatre until Saturday, March 12 with tickets from £12.

Read more: Grease the Musical at The Regent Theatre – It’s Electrifying!

Credit: Johan Persson
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