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We Will Rock You (Tour - Manchester)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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Queen and Ben Elton's jukebox musical We Will Rock You continues to send fans into a frenzy in London's West End and is set to do the same on this, the second UK Tour. It feels almost futile reviewing this juggernaught of a show as it has proven to be critic proof over the last eight years.

We follow our hero Galileo (Noel Sullivan) as he goes on a quest in search of answers (or, basically - a plot) to his dreams which incorporate song lyrics - everything from "Agadoo" to "Who Let The Dogs Out?" Now, fans of the show will say - the plot is perfunctory as the show is about having fun. But, the lazy narrative - however tongue in cheek does hold back some great performers as many of the characters are sketchy as a result.

Sullivan does a brilliant job as the hero and vocally - he has the mettle to take a Queen song and own it. He also has great comic timing. Likewise Amanda Coutts is very commanding and likeable as Scaramouche and yes, she does the fandango with panache too.  Ian Reddington is engaging but wasted as Pop as he is not on stage as much as you would like. Earl Carpenter (Khashoggi) and Tiffany Graves (Killer Queen) are saddled with equally underwritten characters but do well with slim pickings, particularly when required to belt out one of Freddie Mercury's hits.

Jenny Douglas' Meat is more like bones as she has a pop star's voice which does not suit these huge rock songs, leaving her stranded. Thankfully, the other half of this double act, Leon Lopez as Britney impresses with his silky souful tones which gain momentum which suits the epic "I Want It All" to a tee. The ensemble are a joy to watch as they rise to the challenge of Arlene Phillip's athletic choreography with ease.

The set design is unimpressive as it relies too heavily on video projections. But, the cast cover every inch of the stage, giving the illusion that there is more to see.  The songs of course are fantastic and hearing them again does provide "A Kind Of Magic" for both fans and newcomers to the majesty that is Queen.

A hard working cast lift a show with a weak book and crass jokes to another level, which ultimately means that We Will does indeed Rock You - however hard you resist.


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