Planer was last seen in the West End in Alistair Beaton's award-winning comedy Feelgood at the Garrick Theatre. Other theatre work includes Chicago at the Adelphi Theatre and Highlife at the Bush Theatre. Planer is most famous for his character Neil the hippy in the BBC comedy series The Young Ones.
As with Mamma Mia!, the musical will integrate classic pop songs — in this case by Queen -—with a fictional story line. It will have a futuristic setting with a good-versus-evil plot. There is an evil queen who despises rock music, and she has an aide who is meant to banish this music and anyone who listens to it. However, the aide not only harbors a secret love for the music he is supposed to persecute, he has insane ambitions of his own.
The musical has been written by Ben Elton, who made his musical debut collaborating with Andrew Lloyd Webber on The Beautiful Game, and features the music of Queen. It will be directed by Christopher Renshaw, who most recently directed The King and I, with choreography by Arlene Phillips.
Booking for We Will Rock You opens on Feb. 1, 2002.