We Will Rock You

I was delighted to be invited on a girly trip to London last Thursday to see the musical We Will Rock You. As Gen’s brother, Jon Boydon, was playing the lead role of Galileo on that particular evening we knew it was going to be extra special. We Will Rock You is playing at the Dominion Theatre in the West End which is an old art deco theatre and, to me, seemed very big (it seats over 2000).

Jon was kind enough to give us a tour backstage before the performance and this was really interesting as we had a go of the camera where the actors were filmed whenever they were projected on to the big screen on stage. We were also shown where the band played in the wings and all the costumes that the actors got changed into as well as some of the settings and scenery (there is a big setting of Tottenham Court Road tube station which appears during the middle of the show). Backstage seemed to me to be a warren of corridors, little stairways and trap doors so goodness knows how the actors remember their way around to rush to the right entrance to the stage.

I don’t often go to musicals and I’d never heard of We Will Rock You even though it’s been going since 2002. It wasn’t what I was expecting, which was a story about Queen, I won’t spoil the story but the surprise element made it all the better. The script was written by Ben Elton and the Queen lyrics were cleverly worked into it, and of course Queen songs lend themselves to that kind of spectacular showing and big stage musical production (both Brian May and Roger Taylor are musical supervisors for the show apparently). For once I bought a programme which was worth the 4 quid as it gave an impressive amount of information and wasn’t just full of adverts. The music is live (of course!) and the band members have played with some high profile rock musicians including Eric Clapton, Meatloaf, Whitesnake and Black Sabbath.

Jon was excellent switching back and forth with ease, as required by the role, from rather gauche and awkward stutterer to confident big stage rock star. He had real charisma and stage presence in what was a very energetic and physically demanding role. The audience were very participative and really getting into it, and of course everyone knew the lyrics and at the end were singing along. There was a great deal of noise and applause at the end of the show along with a well deserved standing ovation.

Afterwards we went to a bar next to the theatre and I popped out to watch with interest as Jon was mobbed by admirers as he emerged from the stage door.

Jon joined us briefly for a drink then headed off home to have dinner and wind down before bed. He was saying that this sort of acting lifestyle is about 5 hours behind the rest of us as of course they’re late to bed and late to rise and do their main work during the evening.

We walked back to our hotel at the end of the evening tired out but happy after a very full day.

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