WHEN the Perth production of We Will Rock You opened at the newly refurbished His Majesty’s Theatre over the weekend, it began with a disclaimer the show’s name was not just a title, it was a promise.
And it was a promise that was delivered.
The PRO/AM production is supporting HeartKids in memory of Ruby Malcolm, a member of the Perth theatre community and Churchlands SHS student who died in 2016 at 14 years old following heart complications.
This cast, including stars Normie Rowe, Chris and Courtney Murphy, Paula Parore and Dean Misdale aka DJ Feminem, are joined by the Rhapsody Community Rock Choir and seven-piece band in a show that honours Malcolm in style.
Written by Ben Elton and based on the songs of Queen, We Will Rock You has been entertaining theatre-goers since 2002 and this production not only featured Perth performers but had a local comedy element with its crowd-pleasing references to Australian Idol (the Murphy brothers) and British singer Adele, who drag artist DJ Feminem sang with during her Subiaco concert.
The show is set in the future, in a time where rock and roll has died, musical instruments are banned and all that is left is Computer Recorded Autotune Pop (CRAP).
Killer Queen in killer costumes (Misdale) and her henchman Khashoggi (Ryan Dawson) think they have control but the bohemians led by Buddy (Rowe) at their rebel base, the Hard Rock Caf, are waiting for their champion to arrive, a bright star who will show them the way to living rock.
Enter Galileo Figaro (played by alternate Isaac Balderas on Saturday’s performance) who wants to Break Free from the Radio Ga Ga and Globalsoft’s power.
He meets the spirited Scaramouche (the talented Holly Denton) who wants to know if anybody can find her Somebody to Love and together they fight to resurrect rock.
We Will Rock You highlights the dramatic nature of Queen’s music, creating a beautiful tapestry with songs like Another One Bites the Dust, I Want It All, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, One Vision, Who Wants to Live Forever, We Are The Champions and of course title song, We Will Rock You.
Parore’s performance of No One But You is an emotion-filled standout.
The clever staging of Bohemian Rhapsody is to be applauded, while Chris Murphy gets to live a rock and roll dream on a giant suspended guitar.
There is a line in the musical that “music made for money has no soul” and if that is the case, then Queen must be penniless and fans of their music, and this production, are all the richer for it.
We Will Rock You is on at His Majesty’s Theatre until April 7.