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Review: We Will Rock You, Grand Opera House, York
THE much-anticipated hit Queen musical We Will Rock You has finally come to York - and if audience reaction is anything to go by, it arrived with a bang.
They loved it. The largely young cast selected by York Stage Musicals (YSM) oozed energy and it wasn't long before the largely middle-aged audience were rocking in (and out of) their seats.
York's Grand Opera House was brought to life by this colourful musical - and while it might have lacked the wow-factor of the West End, it was a memorable performance.
Everybody knows Ben Elton isn't going to win any awards for his script - and the lack of a decent plot means We Will Rock You will never be up there with the likes of Les Misérables.
But if you enjoy it for what it is, it's superb - it was pure entertainment from start to finish.
Ben Elton's story is set some 300 years hence on a planet ruled by the Killer Queen (played by a flamboyant Sarah Barker) and her henchman, Commander Khashoggi (Nik Briggs) All musical instruments have been banned, although legend has it that the last of the freedom fighters, a band called Queen, secretly buried many electric guitars.
Determined to find them are Galileo (Northern Ballet Theatre-trained James Fackrell) and his feisty girlfriend Scaramouche (YSM newcomer Vicki Lightfoot).
James is the lead singer with York band The Summits, while Vicki played the Witch in Stagecoach Youth Theatre's January production of Into The Woods.
Both their performances were brilliant - they lit the stage with their youthful energy and were convincing in their roles as the social misfits.
But for me, it was the Bohemians who made the show. Their costumes were fantastic and their scenes were often laugh-out-loud funny - and at the expense of today's celebrities.
Without a decent story-line to captivate the audience, it was very much up to the cast to bring the stage to life - and with 23 hit Queen songs to help them along, they certainly did a good job.
The York show will run nightly at 7.30pm until Saturday, including a matinee on Saturday at 2.30pm. Tickets are available from 0870 6063595 or email yorkboxoffice@LiveNation.co.uk