Review | ‘We Will Rock You’ allows local talent to shine

We Will Rock You | Crown Theatre | Until 22nd November | ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ 

This local production of We Will Rock You has been performed several times in the last few years and as WA’s hard border limited touring acts from visiting the state an opportunity has appeared for home grown talent to shine.

Settling in for a season at Crown’s Theatre We Will Rock is playing to packed houses (as many as Covid-19 guidelines allow) and delivering a seriously funny and enthralling night of entertainment.

The jukebox musical that combines the iconic songs of Queen and a hilarious script from comic writer Ben Elton has been a global phenomenon since it made its debut in 2002, and the London production ran for 12 years. Since it was first performed it’s been updated so cultural references are current and the comedy remains fresh.

The story is set in the future where music and individual thought have been outlawed, and society is ruled by a tyrannical corporate head honcho Named Killer Queen. Dissidents are subjected to brainwashing and torture, and one of the greatest crimes is creating a musical instrument.

For this latest outing Casey Donovan has joined the cast, after spending the required two-weeks in quarantine. Her take on the show’s bad ass villain Killer Queer is marvelous. She commands the stage, and looks like she’s having the time of her life while singing up a storm.

Blake Williams plays the rebellious, self named, Galileo Figaro who yearns to break-free from the mundane society, he just can’t stop creating songs and lyrics of long forgotten rock n roll tunes pour out of his mouth. He teams up with a young woman who has been shunned by all the other ‘Gaga Girls’ and together head off on a quest to find the Bohemians, people who live on the fringe of society.

Williams has a great voice, and while nobody can recreate the magic of Queen singer Freddie Mercury, he makes the part his own and displays an impressive vocal ability. Holly Denton who plays his love interest Scaramouche can not only deliver the required vocals for the part, she also has wicked comic timing.

Dean Misdale, who previously played the lead role of Killer Queen, takes on the part of top henchman Khashoggi. Dressed in a dashing purple coat, he channels every classic villain, and it’s the best vocal performance I’ve ever seen him deliver.

There’s also impressive performances from Matt Dyktynski, Paula Parore, and Darius Clay. There’s also exceptional performances from Sooz Bennet, Ash Schofield and Andrew Milner.

As this production has been created locally it allows for a much larger cast than a touring production would allow. There’s a large chorus which allows four a much more populous world than we’ve previously seen when this show has been performed.

The only let-down on this production is with some of it’s larger dance numbers. The choreography and some of the chorus are at times a tiny bit clunky, and this momentarily tip us into the world of the Rock Eisteddfod, but the sensational performances from the leads more than make up for it.

People have referred to the Covid-19 pandemic as a great reset on our lives, a time when we’ve taken stock of how we spend our time and where we focus our energies. For many of us we’ve learned that we can work from home, we’ve found enjoyment in long walks and reading more books, and to this list we can add – learning that there’s more than enough local talent in WA and we don’t need to wait for first rate productions to come from the east coast or overseas.

At the end of the night the cast were rewarded with rapturous applause and well deserved praise. We Will Rock You is filled with the sing-a-long songs from Queen, packed with laugh out loud moments and bursting at the seams with Western Australian talent.

We Will Rock You is playing at the Crown Theatre until 22nd November, tickets are on sale now.

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