I don’t know about you, but I love my Karaoke sessions. And there’s one song in particular that is consistent regardless of the permutation and combination of people that I’m with. To even call it a song does not do it justice – in every sense of the word, it’s truly an anthem, a rhapsody, which gets everyone’s heart pumping, voices filled with gusto and spirits high. You might have guessed it by now, but it is indeed Bohemian Rhapsody – a cornerstone in the illustrious career of the British rock band, Queen.
However, Bohemian Rhapsody is merely a taste of Queen’s Rock N Roll genius. Bringing to audiences the full platter and plethora of performances is We Will Rock You, the rock-concert-and-musical-extravaganza featuring 24 of Queens’ best hits, including the likes of, ‘Somebody to Love’, ‘I want to Break Free’, ‘Under Pressure’ and many more! Don’t be mistaken though; this isn’t just a series of live performances of Queen’s songs.
We Will Rock You presents a reimagined post-apocalyptic world 300 years in the future, where algorithms predict people’s every preference and creativity and where instruments are forbidden. The narrative follows two revolutionaries – Galileo and Scaramouche (sound familiar?) – who try to save Rock N Roll by breaking free from government quarters, going on a journey to find a hidden instrument and cementing their names as champions.
Stuart Brown and Nicolette Fernandes, who play the titular roles of Galileo and Scaramouche respectively, deliver a particularly compelling, memorable and exhilarating performance. Their rendition of songs like ‘I Want to Break Free’ and ‘Who Wants to Live Forever’ is moving, and one cannot help but feel like they are transported back in the ‘80s – which is ironic, yet magical given that the musical is set in the far future.
Talking about the setting of We Will Rock You, set designer, Tom Rogers and costume designer, Sarah Mercade pull off the incredible task of indulging audiences in an almost Blade Runner-esque reality.
Blending a futuristic cyberpunk aesthetic with the grunge of Rock N Roll, makes what we see before our eyes feel like a seamless blend of two opposite worlds. Each set is designed meticulously, and each costume makes the world before us more believable. We Will Rock You is every bit a visual spectacle as much as it is a musical masterpiece.
Beyond its grandiose visuals and exhilarating music however, We Will Rock You ultimately is a nod to the golden era of Rock N Roll – an era of video cassettes, writing songs inspired by love (or as the dudes back in the day would call it, writing songs for their chicks) and embodying the Bohemian spirit of rebellion and individuality. It’s a bygone era, but one that always lives on, and one that must be preserved regardless of the evolution of people and their music.
It’s hard not to stomp along when you hear the verse, ‘buddy, you’re a boy, make a big noise’, or knowing intuitively what to do when you hear ‘ayo!’.
The natural and beyond enthusiastic reaction from the audience is a testament to the power of music, and to what performances like We Will Rock You offer – a chance to bear our souls to music that makes us feel like we’re a part of something bigger than ourselves, yet music which speaks to us on a deeply personal level. It’s enchanting and electrifying at the same time and truly an experience that comes by rarely.
We Will Rock You truly presents an experience unlike any other. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would witness ‘robots’ on wave boards singing a rendition of Radio Ga-Ga, see a villain sing ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ in the form of a menacing threat and Bohemians in ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ hilariously struggle to figure out what a video cassette actually is.
Bringing to audiences a concoction of great music, moments of jest and laughter, incredible visuals and a trip through the beauty of Rock N Roll – We Will Rock you is certainly an experience you wouldn’t want to miss!
The musical recently opened on 5 Jan 2023 at the Esplanade – Theatres by the Bay and runs for a limited season till 22 Jan 2023. The show runs for 2 hours and 45 minutes, and tickets start from $78. If you’re in the mood to indulge in some classic Rock N Roll, book your tickets at SISTIC now.
Photos by Srinidhi Ragavendran of the DANAMIC Team. Additional visuals courtesy of Zoo Group.