The evening was a benefit for the Help for Heroes military charity.
There remains something slightly macabre about a musical protesting about the homogenisation of music, while itself performing the same act on the Queen back catalogue. However, in general, the current cast of We Will Rock You work hard enough, and well enough, to encourage one to overlook the dichotomy.
Ben Elton’s book remains unsure as to whether it wants to be any more sophisticated than a children’s sitcom. Most times it is breathtakingly simplistic, yet it is always aware that it is merely fulfilling the act of bridging the gaps between the classic songs that the audience have come to see, hear and sing along to.
Sabrina Aloueche’s Scaramouche provides the lynchpin to the whole show, with fine comic timing and a line in deprecating humour that encourages the audience to laugh along with, rather than at, the whole ridiculous scenario. She is far stronger than her male lead, Ricardo Afonso’s Galileo. While he captivates during his solo songs, his spoken dialogue is delivered in a breathless manner that borders on inarticulacy.
Rachel Tucker, joining the cast as Meat after appearing in BBC1’s I’d Do Anything, has found the perfect stage for her large voice. Her rendition of No-one But You (Only the Good Die Young) is one of the highlights of a first act that works on many levels.
Sadly, the post-interval production lags severely in places, due in part to the over-reliance on Afonso, Scaramouche and Garry Lake’s Pop. The anticipated climax of the title song and the inevitable encore of Bohemian Rhapsody, come as blessed relief.
Reviewed for The Stage