The 12-year-old Queen musical We Will Rock You will see its last performance on May 31, 2014 and the show will close on London’s West End. The decision has surprised a number of fans of the musical, which received negative comments when it first opened at the Dominion Theatre.
The first performance of the musical in 2002 was hit with critics claiming that it was just like a high school performance. UK newspaper Daily Mail even wrote that Ben Elton should be shot. Elton was the mastermind behind the script and the way the legendary Queen songs should be added into the show. He is known for comedy books like Chart Throb and Dead Famous.
While We Will Rock You hits at auto-tuned pop music and focuses on a world where live music is banned, his comedy books often take digs at popular shows like Big Brother and X Factor. Chart Throb even saw Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh take part in the fictional version of Simon Cowell’s Pop Idol.
When it came to the first performance of We Will Rock You, Queen drummer Roger Taylor was pessimistic about it. He did admit that he was not a fan of musicals, which clouded his judgment of the idea. However, he admitted that there were some good parts to the show.
It turned out the critics were wrong, since the stage show has since gained over 16 million people going to see it. In its second year on stage, the Theatregoers’ Choice Awards even gave the show five prizes. It is now also performed in 28 different countries, and tours around the UK. However, May 31, will see the Queen musical We Will Rock You close on London’s West End stage.
The Dominion Theatre has never had a show last so long before. Over the last 12 years, many people have known just where they are by seeing the shining gold-plated statue of the band’s frontman Freddie Mercury standing on top of the entrance way with microphone in hand. It has also reached the ranks of being one of the 10th longest musicals on the West End. Les Miserables is another popular musical that has that honor.
The storyline to the show is very simple. In the future, all live music is banned and instruments have been destroyed. However, one man hears the long-lost songs of Queen in his head and it is up to him and one other to find the lost guitar of Freddie Mercury. Along the way, they meet various people including a group of people named after popular singers and bands, such as Boy George and David Bowie. One of the jokes involves one of the men stating proudly that his name is Britney Spears.
The songs interlink with the storyline and include popular hits like Under Pressure and Who Wants to Live Forever. It comes to a close with none other than Bohemian Rhapsody.
There is no confirmation about whether the show will ever return to the West End, or if it is going to continue touring around the country. However, fans still have time to the popular Queen musical We Will Rock You before it closes for the last time in London on May 31, 2014.
By Alexandria Ingham