IT WAS with some trepidation that I ventured to HMT last Wednesday, after being invited to the VIP showing of ‘We Will Rock You’. Firstly, I had no idea how I had ended up with said ticket, other than assuming it must have been some sort of clerical error at the Performing Arts office. Secondly, there was a very real prospect that my fifty-year old mother - who was my plus-one - might start behaving as if she was at an actual rock concert, crowd surfing her way to the front for an audience with Brian May.
For those unfamiliar with the story, ‘We Will Rock You’ is set a couple of centuries into the future, in a timeline where musical instruments have been banned, and all music is produced electronically. The world is subject to a giant corporation which controls and produces all music electronically, spawning a rebellion by ‘Bohemians’, who seek out true music. The opening sequences - including a cinematic montage describing Simon Cowell as being ‘sent from Hell to wreck rock music’ - raised more than a few giggles from the audience.
Overall, Ben Elton’s storyline struck me as a bit silly to begin with. However, as the show progresses, you come to realise what an excellent conduit it is for Queen’s highly eclectic musical output. With the benefit of hindsight, I’m hard pressed to think of any other conceivable way ‘The Seven Seas of Rye’ and ‘Killer Queen’ could have been incorporated into one show, and performed so capably into the bargain.
The cast - led by the heroes ‘Galileo Figaro’ (Noel Sullivan) and ‘Scaramouche’ (Amanda Coutts) - can only be described as perfection in their roles, which incorporate a difficult range of choreography, vocals and risqué comedy. They are supported by fantastic performances from Tiffany Graves, Leon Lopez and Jenny Douglas, whose dulcet Glaswegian tones stole the show for me. Credit must also go to the backing dancers, who - as robotoid humans in a perfect world set to ‘Radio Gaga’ - typified the evil against which real music will have to struggle in the future.
Lastly, of course, Brian May himself played the solo for Bohemian Rhapsody on stage which, as the sound track to many a mis-spent youth, brought roars of approval and applause from the stands.
All in all, a rip-roaring rock ride for young and old alike.
Until Saturday, July 2: We Will Rock You, in His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen at 7.30pm, with 2.30pm Saturday matinee. Tickets from boxofficeaberdeen.com, or tel 01224 641122.