We Will Rock You

Date 5th March 2022
Society Curtain Call Productions
Venue Lyceum Theatre, Crewe
Type of Production Musical
Director Joel Montague
Choreographer Joel Montague
Producer Gail Montague

Report

Author: Joe Clarke

After a two-year hiatus and having this show rescheduled three times (thus losing cast members each time), Curtain Call Productions finally brought their production of We Will Rock You (Junior version) to the stage this week at the Lyceum Theatre in Crewe. This production, directed and choreographed by West End luvvie Joel Montague, was a brilliant showcase for Curtain Call’s junior talent which bodes extremely well for the future of this society. Visually, this production was stunning! The costumes, lights and choreography made this a standout, and one to remember. Sadly, there was a distinct lack of focus on the storytelling and plot, which made it seem more like a concert version, focussing on the vocals. Joel’s vision of having a wall of video screens sadly didn’t happen, but it didn’t need it. This brilliant set was used very well throughout, creating levels and areas of the stage for different locations. The energy and pace was brilliant, and the cast looked like they were having the time of their lives up there which made the audience sit back, relax and enjoy the show. I personally know this show very well and am aware of the plot, however my guest came away none the wiser to what the story was about. I’m sure there were other audience members confused as to what was going on too. The storytelling, diction and general articulation was missing which made this production a frustrating watch as the vocals and the visuals were SO good! The choreography was particularly outstanding! I have to say that normally societies have a dance troop or have a small group of (girls) who are the main dancers whilst the others dance in the background – not in this production! Every singe person on that stage KNEW the choreography inside out and any which way in-between and performed it SO WELL! A huge congratulations on this – particularly to Leah Bainbridge for her work in supporting as dance captain. The (financial) decision to have mics for the leading roles only, meant that chorus’ lines weren’t heard which then impacted negatively on plot and storytelling. The lighting was effective enough and helped add layers to scenes and establish locations. Despite some of the follow spots being a little too small (I’m being picky here) and pockets of the stage in darkness, and whilst we couldn’t hear the computerised added voiceovers, I enjoyed the use of gobo’s etc. For example, the gobos of the cell bars for the first scene with Galileo and Scaramouche was effective. The addition of some of the songs, not in the score, was effective also and beautifully sung too. ‘Who Wants to Live Forever’ was excellent! I also really enjoyed the gender swap between the characters of Khashoggi and Killer Queen – this worked extremely well! Overall, this show was very enjoyable and showcased the obvious talent from this society!

The costumes were a delight and really helped establish both character and tone etc. These were some of the best costumes that I’ve seen for this show and the hard work going into this area didn’t go a-miss.

Gavin Adams played the role of the protagonist Galileo Figaro. Gavin had the stuttering and breathing needed for this role down and created his character around the voices in his head. I believed his characterisation. I didn’t believe that Galileo was ever in love with Scaramouche, however. Vocally, Gavin was outstanding and was very well cast in this role!

Prinny Robertson. What can I say… Prinny’s voice is just sublime and effortless. Her version of Scaramouche was brilliant. I loved the dry sense of humour and wit and despite me not believing that she was in love with Galileo, Prinny showcased her talent - which has no bounds! She could sing the phone book and I’d happily listen all day!

The gender swap of Killer Queen was a brilliant touch and Harry Grigg was the drag version of this character that we didn’t know we needed until this show. Harry had great energy and charm and really tried to sell this version of this character. I have to say that Harry’s diction and articulation were quite poor, and I felt that the character was a little more of a caricature, but I cannot fault Harry’s commitment and energy.

Phoebe Robinson’s Khashoggi was suitably evil, and Phoebe was well cast in this role. I loved that Phoebe had the chance to show her incredible dancing and vocals in act 2. Her storytelling and diction was very good (one of the best) and she helped with the overall plot.

Eddie Thomlinson-Cliffe and Jessica Davidson played the roles of Britney Spears and Oz and both performed really well throughout. Eddie TC often broke the fourth wall (my pet peeve) but had great stage presence and storytelling and I really enjoyed the rapport he had with Oz. Jessica was able to show off her brilliant vocals and she brought a Kerry Ellis vibe to the role.

Tom Green played the role of Buddy. Tom certainly looked the part and he looked like he was really enjoying himself onstage, which was great to see.

The ensemble cast were excellent!!! Honestly, it’s rare to see an ensemble cast working so cohesively to portray a character or to showcase a certain style of dance etc. Well done to all involved!

I thank Curtain Call Productions for their hospitality and wish them all the very best for their upcoming productions of Matilda and Shrek the Musical!