We Will Rock You - 20th Anniversary UK Tour Review

It's been two decades since We Will Rock You first landed on theatre stages with a bang, wowing audiences with the classic songs of the legendary rock band Queen alongside a story about bohemians and rebels. Now in its 20th year, the show is back on tour to inject a bit of rock and roll in theatres up and down the country and this week is the turn of the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton.

With my trusty rock loving sidekick with me, we took to our seats at the Mayflower ready to head-bang, clap and dance as we all went a bit Radio Gaga to this insanely awesome show.   

Written by the insanely talented Ben Elton, the show is set in the year 3000, where no one is allowed to think for themselves, or have any free thoughts. Where the new world dubbed I-Planet is ruled by the one and only Killer Queen. Our story follows the tale of Galileo and Scaramouch, two bohemian rebels who want to break free of conformity and find solace amongst like minded spirits to find the true meaning of rock and roll. With each song by Queen being cleverly woven into the storyline, you are never too far away from a song of legends. 

The story isn't overly original in its premise, but has been updated for a 2022 audience. With references to hit songs and artists woven through the dialogue, and a hilarious nod to the Covid Pandemic, it felt refreshing yet familiar. A brilliant pre-show introduction from Ben Elton himself reminded audiences that we were there to see the performers on stage, rather than hear someone 4 row's back wailing along to these hits, and we would be prompted to participate when required. This gave us one of the best experiences of theatre etiquette I have ever seen and I would love to see this at every show I see!

Whilst I have to be honest and say that the staging was pretty simplistic and the backdrop graphics could have used an update (it was giving early 00's vibes), it didn't take away from each of the incredible performers on stage. If anything, it might have allowed us audience members to marvel in the talents before us rather than what was surrounding them. And my goodness were these actors brilliant. 

Damien Walsh took to the stage as Galileo, to dreamer of the show that leads the Bohemians to find true rock and roll. His vocals were on point and his acting was polished and perfect. He perfectly complimented Elena Skye who's rendition of "Somebody to Love" was absolutely brilliant. Her mannerisms, attitude and performance really showed us angst and rebellion. 

Martina Ciabatti Mennell gave us a brilliant performance as Meat, wowing us with talent whenever she was on stage whilst Michael McKell showed us that the dream never dies as Cliff, the original Bohemian of the gang. Adam Strong gave us a performance of Khashoggi that was devious and slightly terrifying, yet added enough humour to be a perfect villainous sidekick. But personally our Killer Queen stole the show. Jenny O'Leary was nothing short of perfection. Her vocal range left me with my jaw on the floor wishing I could give her a standing ovation at the end of each song. Giving us menacing vibes from the moment she entered the stage, she commanded the audience and left me in awe. This Killer Queen absolutely SLAYED this performance and I would see it again just to hear her rendition of "Don't Stop Me Now". 

We Will Rock You is a show that entertains and leaves you with a smile on your face. Whether you are a die hard Queen fan, or someone like myself who can just appreciate a damn good song, this show will leave you dancing in your seat and wishing for encore after encore. You cannot deny that every person on stage radiated talent and the audience soaked in every moment. Both Max and I adored this show, Max couldn't help but constantly tap his toes, air drum and air guitar throughout and at one point elbowed me as I was a tad slower than him to wave my arms in the air! Whilst there is a fair amount of innuendos, some bad language, and some provocative moments, it's perfect for anyone that loves the music of Queen, or just wants a brilliant night out. Don't stop me now, because We Will Rock You is a show everyone needs to see!

On at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton until 20/8/2022, We Will Rock You will then continue to wow audience's on the rest of its UK Tour. 

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