We’ve been speculating, but now it’s confirmed by everyone involved: the hit musical We Will Rock You is returning to Australia next year for a national tour.
We Will Rock You — with a book by Ben Elton and the music of Queen — opened on the West End in 2002 and ran for an impressive 12 years. A futuristic rock musical, it paints the picture of a fully corporatised society where music is banned and everyone must, must be the same as everyone else.
Enter Galileo Figaro, a dreamer who knows there must be more to life, and keeps hearing something in his mind, something that might be music. On his quest to “break free” he runs into an angry outcast he dubs Scaramouche, and they run away together from the Killer Queen and her business of brainwashing. Along the way they stumble “headlong” into a chaotic controversy of music, bandits, hippies, and freedom.
The rock sound of the show is authentic, with Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor as music supervisors and a series of impressive voices across 17 countries taking up the challenge of these tricky, anthemic songs. In Australia, notably, Michael Falzon and Kate Maree Hoolihan led the charge, starring in the 2003 local production of the show. This was the first local production of the show outside the UK, and scored five Helpmann awards.
“This show is all about legend,” says Ben Elton, who will direct the new Australian production.
“We take the legend of Queen and create our own fantastical story of young kids battling the mighty corporations who want to suppress their individuality and their love of music. They need a hero who can help them in their struggle, and we have two – the dreamer Galileo and the sassy rock chick Scaramouche.”
Brian May said, “The amazing bonus of this show is that Ben’s script subtly works as a metaphor too. People definitely come out of the theatre feeling that in a strange way they now know us, Queen, and our struggle, our journey.”
“Audiences around the world love We Will Rock You because they get the power and energy of the extraordinary music of Queen in a fun rock and roll musical, and this is especially true of Australian audiences. I can’t wait to bring this magnificent show back to Australia,” added Ben Elton.
The 2016 Australian tour of We Will Rock You will be produced by John Frost, in association with Queen Theatrical Productions, Phil McIntyre Entertainment and Tribeca Theatrical Productions.
Theatres, dates, and cast will be announced at a later time.