Similar to Abba's West End hit Mamma Mia!, the story for the new musical will not be based on the antics of Queen, although it will feature many of the 1970s supergroup's signature hits. We Will Rock You is set in a futuristic world where an evil, music-hating queen orders her aide to ban music and punish anyone who listens to it. However, the aide is secretly a huge music fan and harbours plans for tuneful, world domination.
We Will Rock You features a book by Ben Elton (who also wrote book and lyrics for Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Beautiful Game) and music by Queen. The production is directed by Christopher Renshaw and choreographed by Arlene Phillips.
Planer is known to millions as Neil Pye in the 1980s TV sitcom The Young Ones, also written in part by Elton. His other numerous television appearances include Shine on Harvey Moon, The Comic Strip Presents, Rollover Beethoven and King and Castle. In recent years, he has also built some impressive West End credits - in the Kander and Ebb musical Chicago and, earlier this year, in Alistair Beaton's political satire Feelgood.
In January 2002, Planer embarks on a brief regional tour in the one-man show I, An Actor, a stage adaptation of his spoof "Nicholas Craig" autobiography of the same name.
- by Terri Paddock