The musical by Queen & Ben Elton comes to Ipswich!
The scene is set with scrolling text on the backdrop screen telling us we are in a world run by Globalsoft where everything is virtual, programmable and real life as we know it has been lost. Music is all computerised and rock is dead.
Gaga High School is teaching an online generation who all look, sound and think the same, there are no individuals in this world. However, there is one who is different, who doesn’t fit in and who’s mind is full of words he doesn’t understand. He calls himself Galileo, he is taken away to be ‘processed’ where he meets a girl who also doesn’t fit in and they escape beyond the walls of Globalsoft. Galileo renames the girl Scaramouche and the become real life friends. They come across the Bohemians, the rebels of the system where they are told about the old stories of rock music, magazines and how things used to be. Things are starting to make sense for Galileo and the Bohemians believe he is the dreamer from the legend who will appear and show them the way to the last remaining musical instrument to beat the system by bringing back rock music and defeat Killer Queen and Khashoggi.
It’s a fun simple story line and wrapped up in back to back fantastic Queen tracks. It’s pretty clever how the tracks are used in the right points in the storyline with very few lyrical changes, to move the story along. The use of ‘Flash’ when the Bohemians are captured and being ‘processed’ worked a treat and ‘Who Wants to Live Forever’ when Galileo and Scaramouche escape and figure out where to go.
The acting between the tracks is cleverly written to link the songs together and there is constant use of lyrics of throughout the script from a huge variety of songs to keep the audience amused – keep count if you can.
Not much of a set, a raised walkway with steps either side and a back screen displaying and background graphics. This allowed plenty of room for the cast to dance, sing and move about but also it gave us views of the live band, which was awesome. The set came alive with scenes at Heartbreak Hotel, HQ for the Bohemians as it was a dystopian off-grid abandoned warehouse.
There were 24 Queen tracks squeezed into the show and each one was a complete joy, the audience loved every performance. We had ‘I want to Break Free’, ‘Killer Queen’, ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’, Hammer To Fall’ and so many more. The cast were brilliant, all had fantastic voices and you could tell how much they were enjoying it, especially when there was the audience participation – being on stage with that feedback would have been incredible.
The whole show was a big build up to the final song, which we knew was coming when the last remaining instrument was found, and it fulfilled all our expectations. With a bonus song at the end, the audience went home very happy and the cast received a standing ovation.
Galileo – Ian McIntosh
Scaramouche – Elena Skye
Cliff – Michael McKell
Killer Queen – Jenny O’Leary
Khashoggi – Adam Strong
This review appeared on GrapevineLIVE