WILL ROCK YOU (MELBOURNE)
PAGE LAST UPDATED 26 AUGUST
This show is everything it promises to be and more. There are several individual stand out performances, a great solo by Amanda Harrison towards the end of the first act, in which she pays tribute to performers who died too young, takes the audience on an emotional high.
At times, the production does threaten to go overboard with the special effects it possesses, but the extraordinary talent on stage certainly puts it back on track.
It is unfortunate that one pivotal character does not come out to play as well as she could – perhaps she just isn’t the killer she promises to be.
Whatever way you look at it though, its hard to fault this production. It’s high quality theatre, and deserves to be lapped up by audiences Australia wide.
It's without doubt the show of the year.
We Will Rock You continues to play at the Regent Theatre in Melbourne throughout September. Bookings at the theatre or through Ticketek.
Source: Broadway Australia/bushfireblonde
THE musical We Will Rock You is continuing to sell well at the Regent Theatre.
And as the show goes from strength to strength, Brian May has taken a holiday on Hayman Island and kept the world up to date with his website, brianmay.com.
His journal says: "I made a conscious decision going into holiday time with my daughter that I would not spend my time working. For me, that's harder than it sounds.
"My achievements, such as they may be, have come about partly because I have some talent. But mainly, truthfully, in my perception, because I have a dogged persistence in the pursuit of excellence."
Source: Herald Sun
Source: Sunday Herald Sun 23 Aug 03
It may look as if Amanda Harrison's clothing had had its day, but the We Will Rock You star's outfit could find a home with a Salvation Army customer. The Salvos are looking for old clothes and homewares or their Red Bag It For the Salvos appeal. Pick up a bag from any Westfield shopping centre, take it home, fill it up, then drop it back for the Salvos.
Source: MX 21 Aug 03
Anyone who has ever sung along to Bohemian Rhapsody will enjoy Ben Elton's new musical. Even if you're not an avid Queen devotee We Will Rock You will keep you firmly in your Regent Theatre seat with its loud and glossy rock 'n' roll soundtrack, fun dance routines and funky multi-media displays.
The musical's storyline, while witty in parts, is nothing much to sing about, but you come to expect that of musicals. It's about a rebellious boy and a girl struggling to find rock 'n' roll in a land run by an omnipresent computer company called Globalsoft (sound familiar?) 300 years into the future. Everything in this land is programmed, shiny and clean and, of course, rock music is banned. The story goes that in the dingy outskirts of this land, rebellious "bohemians" live in an attmpt to uncover sacred texts of the 'Bohemian Rhapsody" - a time when music was real and loud and rocking.
This storyline, though nonsense, brings a sense of fun and comedy to the music, which is really the focus after all. The sound is strong and overpowering, sometimes seemingly too overpowering for some of the cast members. While the female leads (Amanda Harriosn as Oz and Kate Hoolihan as Scaramouche) are fantastic, they overshadow their male counterparts at times. The musical's hero, Galileo (played by Michael Falzon) is a lovable character but there are moments when you're not convinced he'd manage to reach the right note.
However, the chorus is strong, the choreography tight and the set glistens, dazzles and explodes. The use of technology is spectacular - there's state-of-the-art sound production, enormous video displays and clever use of hydraulics that add multi dimensions to the set. The result is a musical that keeps you awake pretty much throughout, which is no mean feat if you ask me.
We Will Rock You is currently on at the Regent Theatre
Source: In Press 20 Aug 03
Source: MPG 20 Aug 03
LORD Alfred Tennyson's melodrama Enoch Arden will be performed for one night only in Clayton North on Thursday, August 28.
The performance will feature acclaimed actor Robert Grubb, whose many roles included Dr Geoffrey Standish in the popular TV series The Flying Doctors.
Enoch Arden is one of Tennyson's most evocative poems, detailing the lives of three people.
Although it was written in 1861, the themes of love, isolation, providence and life choices are naturally applicable today.
Composer Richard Strauss wrote inspiring and thought-provoking music to accompany the poem 36 years after it was written.
In this performance, Gregory Roberts will play the piece on a grand piano as Grubb tells the story.
Production spokesman Kevin Trask said the combination of poet and composer created "great beauty and power".
"It is rarely done and it is a superb example of the narrative poem that was meant to be heard - not read.
"The story of Enoch Arden is wonderfully told by Grubb. The show has received rave reviews since it was first produced at Chapel off Chapel.
Grubb's career as a talented actor has been cemented in films such as My Brilliant Career, Gallipoli and Phar Lap, plus many television and stage productions.
He recently appeared in Mamma Mia and We Will Rock You.
Enoch Arden begins at 1.30pm at the Monash Secondary College Theatre, on the corner of Duerdin Street and Nantilla Road, Clayton North.
Afterwards the audience can enjoy free refreshments with Grubb and Roberts.
Source: Monash Journal
Star-studded glitzy glamour defined last Thursday's opening night of the Queen musical We Will Rock You, in the appropriately ornate surrounds of the Regent Theatre and its accompanying ballrooms. Supping on free-flowing wines, after-party guests were treated to a post-show entertainment that championed the production's "long live real music" mantra. The rumours proved true when Queen originals Brian May and Roger Taylor cranked up the energy to colossal heights with Tie Your Mother Down and Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love. Their spotlight was shared with the show's headlining cast members whse "belt it out" vocal approach turned the stage into an Australian idol-like stand-off. Also performing was the show's writer-director Ben Elton - his repertoire including Joplin's Me & Bobby McGee.Vanessa Amorosi turning in a classic rock/R&B set, and, at one point, a pint-sized junior drummer, Rufus (Roger Taylor's son) rocked just as hard as the big guns. With many a mention made to the legacy of Freddie Mercury, the camped-up nature of both the production and the party proved a fitting tirbute to Queen's colourful frontman. If anyone managed to forget though, Ian "Molly" Meldrum offered reinforcement during his DJ set with dedications to Mercury stretching into the wee hours of the next morning.
Source: The Age (A3 Review p12 Tue 12 Aug 03)
Source: The Age
Stage extravaganzas, where the story lines hang tenuously on a series of song titles by a popular artist, are fraught with risk. And although this one is infinitely better than the ABBA-themed Mamma Mia! (Look, there's a queen." "And she's dancing." Cue: Dancing Queen) it does fall into some of the same traps. When the lead character is introduced as Galileo Figaro and his girlfriend as Scaramouche, you can't help wondering if they might own a cat called Fandango.
All in all, however, the long-awaited Queen-themed musical is quite good (unless you don't like the music of Queen, in which case it's a fairly intense torture sustained for a good couple of hours.)
The show is set in 2003 on Planet Mall. Any music other than the manufactured pap of Globalsoft Corporation is verbotten and it's against this satirical background that a rock rebellion is played out to a Queen soundtrack. Although this set-up is ripe with possibilities, there's an inherent tension in a story that rails against homogenous, soulless music but is presented in a slick, glossy format.
The rebel Bohemians here are no more modern or cool than the Sharks or the Jets pirouetting around in West Side Story,.
The performers do a good job, though, particularly Ross Girven as the villainous Khashoggi and Kate Hoolihan as Scaramouche, and although Michael Falzon, playing the hero, has a voice of gold, as a rocker he's more like TV gardener Jamie Durie than AC/DC's Bon Scott.
That said, the music can't be faulted. The coked-up bombastic anthems of Queen are lovingly reproduced and suitable accompany the deliberately hammy kitsch played out on stage.
Ben Elton's writing can be hit (The Young Ones, Dead Famous) and miss (Stark). Here it's at its best when he takes his Queen obsession a little less seriously (for instance, the legend about the buried axe of a great and hairly guitar god - Brian May), and worst when it continually reels out spoken song lyrics as punchlines.
The show has been adapted to Australian tastes since its stint on London's West End and references to John Farnham, Bardot and Skyhooks abound. Although it's not as lowbrow as you might expect and, surprisingly, a fairly conventional musical, We Will Rock You is like a rock concert - you can see it half sozzled, cry, laugh and cheer in the right places, admire the pyrotechnics and not miss any plot intricacies.
The best, longest eisteddfod entry you'll see all year.
By Liam Houlihan
Source: The Australian, Aug 12, 2003
"I'm basically half-Australian and to come here with this dream of a show is a homecoming to me," Elton said.
He took over the directing reins for the Australian production, making a few tweaks to the show that won standing ovations in the West End. The three-hour night at the opera includes 24 Queen numbers, a high-tech set including a gigantic video screen with computer graphics, a live band and an all-Australian cast (except for the Kiwis).
Queen guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor came to Melbourne to rehearse the band.
"It was a great opportunity to use our creativity in a new medium," May said. "The music still gives me a huge buzz. We've been in there the last 15 months in London and we still go in and fiddle with things, change things."
Taylor said Freddie Mercury would have loved the show. "Theatrical was his middle name," he said. "I personally loathe musicals, so to be involved in one that I like is a delightful challenge."
Incidentally, May and Taylor scotched rumours that John Farnham would be fronting Queen's future performances.
"We got him to sing on a track . . . on a greatest hits album," May said. "But there's never been any talk of replacing Freddie and I don't think there ever will be."
We Will Rock You is set in the future, in a time whent the music industry is ruled by soulless, computerised, pop super-yuppies. But young rebel Galileo Figaro helps the people rediscover live rock'n'roll.
His love interest is a girl guitarist called Scaramouche, played by 23-year-old Kate Hoolihan, who graduated from the WA Academy of Performing Arts in 2000.
A big contingent of Elton's extended family, including his mother-in-law, flew from Perth to Melbourne to be at the premiere.
However, Elton said his wife Sophie Gare and their three young children could not make it over from London. "That's the only downside of a fantastic night," he said.
After the premiere the thousand-strong crowd moved downstairs to the packed post-show party, fuelled not only by the offer of free food and beer, but also rumours that the two Queen members would hit the stage.
Kate Hoolihan warmed up the crowd with a rock classic, then Ben Elton cooled them down again (titling his effort as Shit Support Act), singing Elvis Presley's Guitar Man.
Then Brian May and Roger Taylor took the stage for an unforgettable Led Zeppelin tribute. Whole Lotta Love was sung by a We Will Rock You cast member [Ed: Damien Aylward) who looked like he was having the time of his life.
To wrap things up, Taylor took the mike and sang a rocking version of Been a Long Time, while May treated the audience to a sample of his solo technique.
Then Molly Meldrum took over the DJ duties and it was time to go.
Melbourne production of We Will Rock You is the first outside London. It
is expected to tour Australia next year, including Perth.
Source: The West Australian TODAY, Monday 11 Aug (supplied by Karina).
11 Aug 03**
WILL ROCK YOU
"I had to get brave enough to tell my mum beforehand, thought, because she came to Rarotonga with me," she said.
"Her mouth dropped wide open and I thought the worst, but then she said: "Can I get one too?"
Annie could not believe it, but gave her Mum some advice.
"I always say to anyone thinking about having a tattoo to tbe absolutley sure they are going to be the same person when they are 76," she says. "I know for sure I wil be the same person. No doubt about that."
Annie likes to find time to relax when she travels - even if it means extending her stay beyond work commitments.
She also relishes the chance to live in a city so she can experience different cultures and find out what makes a palce tick.
"The benefts you gain out of travelling can't be taught at school," she says.
"The life experience and skills it gives you are immeasurable. As are the people skills it teaches you.
"I\m definitely going to encourage my future children to read and to travel.
"We Wull Rock You", featuring 24 of Queen's hits opened on Thursday at the Regent Theatre. Session times are Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 8pm, Sundays at 5pm and 8pm, and Wednedays at 1pm and 8pm. Visit www.ticketek.com or call 13 28 49 for ticket prices and availability.
Sunday Herald Sun 10 Aug 03
Thumbs up: Annie Crummer and Michael Falzon
Photo: Ellen Smith
At interval the jury was still hung on Melbourne's latest musical offering, We Will Rock You.
You could sense that the first-night crowd at The Regent Theatre in Collins St was enjoying the affair, but wanted something extra, that defining moment, that big spectacular number.
An hour later and the show had the thumbs up from the hard-to-please VIP crowd, won over by the musical that features the hit songs of English glam rock band Queen.
Anyone who can sit still during the utter nonsense and glory that is Queen's rock masterpiece Bohemian Rhapsody is a corpse.
Ben Elton's script is tight, funny and redesigned from its London production to suit a Melbourne crowd but no doubt the songs of Queen such as We Are The Champions, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Killer Queen, Another One Bites The Dust and Somebody To Love, are the real stars.
One questoin: Does main man Michael Falzon, who plays Galileo and does a great job, really need to use an American accent?
Good performances were delivered by the young, energetic cast of Australians and Kiwis, with the standouts being blonde singer Amanda Harrison and former Flying Doctors star Robert Grubb. Both play minor roles, but steal the show.
A great live band playing note-perfect Queen songs was as effective as all the multi-million dollar production gimmicks, whacky stage costumes and multi-media video screens.
Do not go along expecting a night of high art and culture, but do not miss it if you enjoyed, for example, The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
We Will Rock You will hit its stride when the rock music-loving general public get along, let their hair down and "go off".
The woman in the third row head-banging her heart out had a great night and could not give a brass razoo about the mauling conservative critics gave the show in London.
By Paul Stewart
Source: Sunday Herald Sun
Source: Geelong Advertiser
Ben Elton said "We will rock you", an that is just what they did at Thursday night's premiere at the Regent Theatre of the show that features 24 of Queen's best hits. He might as well have said "we will squeeze you" about the after-paty in the Plaza Ballroom, which was wall-to-wall with people.
One tired but happy performer was Michael Falzon - brilliant in the role of Galileo - who said he always felt "much better ater the first-night nerves settle down".
Kate Hoolihan, who plays Scaramouche, was just the opposite: "I'm not tired at all."
Source" Herald Sun, 9 Aug 03
In 2302, globalisation and marketing control spells uniform cultural blandness, with musical instruments banned and all music (and musicians) created in company computers. Enter Galileo and Scaramouche (characters adapted via Mercury's grand operatic parody Bohemian Rhapsody), rock rebels fighting back with their own music . . . actually the Queen songbook.
It sounds frivolous fun and a great excuse to reprise classics, from I Want To Break Free to We Are The Champions.
The Australian production of We Will Rock you is at the Regent Theatre, 191 Collins Street, Melbourne. Tickets from Ticketek 132 849, 9299 9011 or ticketek.com
Source: The Age Sat 09 Aug 03