REVIEW: We Will Rock You at the Wales Millennium Centre

After causing a storm in the West End for almost 10 years, We Will Rock You has embarked on a UK tour, making a one-month pit stop at Cardiff’s very own Wales Millennium Centre.

The show, written by Queen and West End legend Ben Elton, tells the story of creative youth Galileo (Popstars winner Noel Sullivan), who struggles to be individual in a futuristic world where creativity is repressed and music is computer-generated. Through going back to the rock greats of the 20th century, Galileo manages to free the world of conformity and liberate the planet.

Noel Sullivan as Galileo

We Will Rock You was the same old story of a musical which has had huge success in London but fails to make a lasting impression on tour. Understandably, the show runs with half the usual cast and opportunities for creative staging are limited, however the cast failed to truly captivate the audience until the closing 15 minutes.

That’s not to say that the talent on-stage wasn’t jaw-dropping. With four members of the cast from televised talent show backgrounds – including Rhydian Roberts from XFactor and Jenny Douglas from Over The Rainbow – the vocal performance from the cast was spine-tingling and captivating, in particular the version of Who Wants To Live Forever by Galileo and partner Scaramouche (Amanda Coutts), which prompted a few tearful sniffles from the back of the auditorium.

But the story was told with forced humour and a false energy which failed to get the audience on-side. Despite a talented ensemble, choreography was uninspired, leaving the outlandish costumes and a video backdrop to make an impression rather than the dancing talent.

With the exception of Scaramouche, who, with her blunt sarcasm, kept the show from completely falling on its feet, the characters were too pantomime to have any sort of depth, that is if you could bear to listen to the irritating accents long enough to hear what they had to say.

Galileo and Scaramouche (front)

The finale, however, was worth the two hours of cringeworthy puns, as the cast blew the audience away with a rendition of title song We Will Rock You and an encore of Queen classic Bohemian Rhapsody, accompanied by a live band.

The show’s final saving was a surprise appearance and guitar solo from Queen member Brian May, who, after getting a screaming audience to their feet, truly showed them the definition of rock and roll.

With a massive following and an even bigger song list, expectations were high. Unfortunately, We Will Rock You flopped out rather than rocked out at the WMC.


About catrinshi

Trainee newspaper journalist at Cardiff University as part of the Journalism PGDip course. Graduated from the University of Birmingham in 2010 with a degree in German Studies. Interested in arts and culture, particularly dance - would love to review dance and musical productions for a publication in the future. If you would like to be reviewed for the blog, or have any dance-related info you would like to share, email me or tweet @catrinshi. Thanks! View all posts by catrinshi

2 responses to “REVIEW: We Will Rock You at the Wales Millennium Centre

  • Rob Ward

    I think that you obviously either had your eyes and ears closed, or were in the wrong buidling, as both my wife and I have just come from the WMC and had a awesome time along with the whole auditorium!

    • catrinshi

      Hi Rob,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m glad you enjoyed the performance, it was by no means unbearable, however I think that the touring version of this musical doesn’t quite live up to the West End. Admittedly this is a difficult task, however not impossible – Mamma Mia at the WMC did a fantastic job of recreating West End magic. Although the leads are undeniably talented and impressive in We Will Rock You, the ensemble just didn’t get me going until the very end, I found it all a bit restrained and lacking a little in energy. WMC have done a great job in getting the musical to Cardiff though, I do think it makes a good night out with all the Queen classics!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: