Our theatre critic is wowed by a state-of-the-art production full of thrills
by J Y-B
The audience notices as soon as the curtain rises that We Will Rock You is different to all previous St James productions – not least because of the two flat-screen TVs positioned on either side of the stage. These state-of-the-art screens light up the performance, allowing the director to move the characters around the stage in ways that surprise (and impress!) the viewers. From a hilarious introduction to a sinister dialogue between the charismatic villains, played by Ella Edmonds and Miss Howatson (understudying Amelia Bebbington-Wood), the screens add that little bit extra to the performance.
It all starts when Galileo has a dream. Played enthusiastically by Corey Rogers, Galileo is a rebellious young lad in a world where music is made by machines (does that ring any bells?). Galileo wants to break free from the lies of the GlobalSoft regime. The answer? Rock.
Meanwhile, elsewhere, a young girl (later she will be named Scaramouche), played by Caitlin Traynor, wants somebody to love and to help her resist the GlobalSoft government. The role gives Traynor a chance to show off the sheer power of her singing voice.
Scaramouche is captured by GlobalSoft spies, including the cold-hearted Commander Khashoggi, played with thrilling intensity by Ella Edmonds, and taken to an operating room. But who will she meet there, and what further adventures are awaiting her? That would be telling.
The musicians were amazing, performing at least seven different pieces on the night. Then again, with Yuki Aizawa, our very own Beethoven-playing genius, on piano, what could really go wrong? Leah Bale showed some rock ‘n’ roll flair with some epic riffs whilst Bethany Lee and Kacper Babrzymaka rocked it all night long on the drums. With DZB on the bass, at no time did the band fail to produce a great sound.
The chorus were on stage almost the whole performance, and to judge by their intricate dance moves, it must have been a nightmare to learn them! They backed up the main singers and generally added to the performance vibe, so of course the audience couldn’t help but love them. Look out for Paul McCartney, played by Jacob Welch, who deserves a special mention for his feisty style.
The Bubble Rating: 9/10 for stupendous staging and a thoroughly enjoyable evening!
Tickets for We Will Rock You! are available from reception.