Queen musical We Will Rock You opens May 14 at the Dominion Theatre. With a book by Ben Elton and over 20 of the best songs in the Queen catalogue, this rock musical set centuries ahead in the future should particularly appeal to a thirty-something audience.
Previews have been packed, mainly and inevitable with old Queen fans. Although Ben Elton is relatively new to musical theatre, he already has a following, having proved himself capable of producing a strong, dark book to Andrew Lloyd Webber's music in The Beautiful Game, which, though its run at the Cambridge was shorter than most of Lloyd Webber's shows, was an artistic and critical success.
In We Will Rock You, Elton places Arthurian myth in a futuristic setting, with a young hero whose equivalent of the sword in the stone is an electric guitar — all such instruments having been banned by the authorities who see rock music as dangerously subversive (like their predecessors in the 1950's and 1960's).
The Dominion is a suitably epic size for a lavish musical in this mold, and suits the highly theatrical nature of Queen's songs and style.
—By Paul Webb Theatrenow