We Will Rock You - Roger Taylor and Brian May on how the award winning musical has opened Queen music to a new generation
Fresh for the new year and on the back of the box office movie success of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Queen fans and lovers of musical theatre are promised a thrilling night when Ben Elton’s musical ‘We Will Rock You’ comes to Blackpool Opera House next month.
The production on a new UK tour promises to deliver the rock, spirit and spectacle of one of the world’s best-selling bands, Queen.
‘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 brain-dead haze.
This system forbids musical instruments and composers, whilst rock music is all but unknown.
The musical tells the story of Galileo, Scaramouche, Killer Queen and the other ‘Bohemians’.
It’s abstract but its appeal has seen the musical recently celebrate its 10th anniversary.
Queen legends Brian May and Roger Taylor had early reservations about staging a musical - given musical theatre wasn’t really ‘their thing.’
Brian says: “We were not initially convinced, not being fans of the ‘Musical Theatre’ genre on the whole
“The show needed to work in a theatrical context and retain the rock, whilst also incorporating the spectacle, uniqueness and humour embodied by Queen.”
Roger said: “We(Queen) took the music seriously, but we never took ourselves seriously. We always had the ability to laugh at ourselves.
"Some of the stage gear and even some of the music is quite humorous. The whole middle section of Bohemian Rhapsody was - we did a lot of daft things and a lot of experimentation.”
What is encouraging, they say, is the tour and the success of the musical has given a new platform for the songs offering younger generations, who may not have heard this music
before, the opportunity to discover the iconic musical genius that is Queen.
Brian says: “I had this very strange thought that it’s quite possible that this particular musical might be the thing through which people know our music in 300 years’ time.”
“I’m quite shocked at how fresh this stuff still sounds and it makes me very happy, obviously.”
The key to getting it right, says writer Ben Elton, was in the story reflecting the feel of the word and music, ‘rather than its literal content.'
“This was not pop music, but rock music. Some of the most famous rock ever written, and legendary music should have a legendary context.
“I began to think of 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.”
“We Will Rock You” opens at Blackpool Opera House on January 6 - 11 January.