We Will Rock You

Date 21st March 2022
Society Viva Theatre Company
Venue The Viva Theatre, Soham
Type of Production Musical
Director Daniel Schumann
Musical Director Richard Hayward
Choreographer Jess Clifford
Producer Daniel Schumann
Written By Ben Elton

Report

Author: Julie Petrucci

Viva’s first full scale production in their new home was Ben Elton’s smash hit Queen musical We Will Rock You and this proved to be a brilliant showcase for Viva’s talents. 

The vocals and the visuals were a treat for the eyes and ears and the audience were thoroughly entertained from the start.  I loved the overall feel for the production, and it was abundantly clear that the cast on stage were having the best time!

The interesting set had a variety of levels which the cast used confidently.  The costumes were a delight and together with the hair and wigs really helped establish both character and tone. The hard work going into this area didn’t go a-miss. The lighting and visuals were exceptionally good and on the first night everything worked admirably.  With only minor exceptions the pace was good throughout.

Aaron Blackburn as the protagonist, Galileo was excellent. He had good stage presence and his voice was great to listen to.  Galileo’s love interest (Scaramouche) was played by Sinéad Mathias-Medeiros. I loved Sinéad’s voice, and the way she played on the sarcastic wit and dry sense of humour of the role with a fine delivery of some brilliant one liners. A bravura performance!

Samantha Dodd in the coveted role of Killer Queen was tremendous.  Great stage presence and a super voice. An outstanding performance.

Because of Covid two roles had stand-ins on the night I was there. Emily Thompson who stepped in as Oz and Mikey Kowalczyk who stood in as Khashoggi.  Well if I hadn’t  have been told I would never have guessed given the confident and slick performances given. Both have great vocal and acting skills and the audience were treated to two high-quality performances. Well done Emily and Mikey and speedy recovery Michael Heslop and Shelley James.

A nice energetic performance from Zack Wymer as Brit.  He too has an excellent voice and though I felt he had a slight tendency to rush his lines it took nothing away from a fine performance. 

Buddy, the leader of the Bohemians was played by George Nolan who was suitably funny when he needed to be, and his comic timing was excellent together with an obvious rapport with others on stage.

MD Richard Hayward created some great harmonies with the iconic musical numbers and Jess Clifford’s choreography was nothing less than brilliant.   The input from the Ensemble was very impressive. They all played two or more roles as well as executing the singing and dancing faultlessly.  Well done all.

The triumvirate of Producer & Director Dan Schumann, Musical Director Richard Hayward and Choreographer Jess Clifford appear to blend seamlessly together and they had obviously worked the cast hard to achieve the success of this show.  We must not, of course, forget the contribution of the amazing array of talents in the orchestra nor that of the backstage team and those who do all the “unseen” jobs necessary to bring such a show to the stage. Visually, it was stunning. The costumes, lights, choreography and of course the music — the heart of the show — made this a standout production, and one to remember.