We Will Rock You // Spotlight Theatre

Review by Jake Goodall

Put on that leather jacket and get that eyeliner out for We Will Rock You will knock your socks off!

It’s the year 2300 and live music has been banned from the iPlanet. Everyone wears the same clothes, thinks the same thoughts and walks about in a brain-dead-ga-ga-haze. Across the desert, a bunch of Bohemians are looking for their ‘Rhapsody’ in the rocky rubble of Tottenham Court Tube Station. With the help of Buddy and Scaramouche, our deranged lead, Galileo, must find the axe buried in the remains of Wembley Stadium and save the iPlanet. 

The Set Design by Director Clay English is simple yet extremely effective. The highlight of the set is an amazing and impressive 8m x 2m LED screen that not only provides backdrops for all the scenes but doubles as a live feed from a smartphone. Unfortunately, opening night brought with it a few technical glitches. But despite the struggles with the live feed and some incorrect projections, the cast and crew recovered professionally. As the season progresses, the technical issue are sure to be straightened out. The Lighting Design by Clay English and the Sound Design by Nick Wilner aids this performance spectacularly with professional level technical elements. 

Spotlight’s rendition of We Will Rock You is directed and choreographed by Clay English, supported by Shari Wilner as Musical Director and Associate Choreographer Laura English. Clay’s clever direction is ingenious from start to finish. He takes the audience on a journey with these characters; we feel every emotion. Clay also uses his talents as a dancer to choreograph hard hitting moves that are spectacular. 

The Music Direction by Shari Wilner is outstanding, utilising a live rock band featuring Peter Lavrencic (Drums), Alex Fox (Bass) and Ryan Stegman (Guitar) that gives this production the true rock feel it needs. Every note sung by the cast is pitch perfect as they create the world of Queen. With iconic songs such as ‘Another One Bites the Dust,’ ‘We Will Rock You’ & ‘We Are The Champions,’ it is no doubt a challenge but Shari whipped the cast into shape to recreate these songs perfectly. 

The cast and ensemble are clearly enjoying the challenge these 25 iconic songs bring. Their enthusiasm and energy heightened every moment. The leads are outstanding; Jack Harbour captures the youthful rebellion of Galileo, matched perfectly with the hilarious and street wise Scaramouch played by Georgia Beck. These two perform some fantastic duets such as ‘Under Pressure,’ ‘You’re My Best Friend and ‘Who Wants to Live Forever.’ Jack has been seen all across the Gold Coast theatre scene, most recently in the other famous rock musical American Idiot (Gold Coast Little Theatre). Georgia is a professional artist who is using her skill to now teach others, this can be seen in her performance; her talent and skill in unrivalled.

Hot on the heels of these two love birds are antagonists Killer Queen (Samantha Sherrin) and commander Khashoggi (Sean Curran). Playing a sinister and fearful duo whilst maintaining an element of comedy is such a delight to watch. Samantha’s rock vocals are something to be feared. She truly embodies the Killer Queen and the audience shivers every time she appears onstage. Sean Curran as Khashoggi is without a doubt the standout actor of this production. His fantastic stage presence is unmatched as he delivers hilarious lines with absolute perfect timing. Sean is the perfect villain that the audience simply loves to hate!

The supporting cast are equally as strong. Samantha Price plays the sexy and sultry Oz. With her hard hitting vocals she performs the wonderful Oz with ease and grace. Opposite Samantha playing Brit was Director and Choreographer Clay English. Seeing Clay on stage proves that there is nothing he can’t do, just take a look at all his other credits in the program! Rounding out this star studded cast is Nigel Tolsten as the homebody Buddy. Nigel is the comedic highlight of this show with his gags and crowd-pleasing local in-jokes. He even manages to illicit a tear or two during his one and only song ‘These Are the Days of Our Lives.’ The audience loves his rocking name drops and fantastic ad libs.

Rounding out this stunning cast is an equally fantastic ensemble and dance troupe filled with local Gold Coast talent comprised of Andrew King, Bianca Riek, Emma Leese, Clay Carlaw, Hannah Maxwell, Isabella Wiesenthal, Jennifer Gilbert, Jonathon Fife, Lauren Vartanian, Molly Fogarty, Phillip Maas, Portia Morris, Soleil Szita and Tiahni Wilton. This ensemble and dance troupe adds the cheeky sex appeal that the audience expects. With such professionalism and talent, it’s hard to remember that all these performers are not full-time professionals. Ben Elton’s script doesn’t require much character development however it demands high energy at all times and the ensemble delivers in spades.

We Will Rock You is rocking audiences at Spotlight Theatre from 13 May to 11 June. So don’t miss out on this uplifting night out for music fans of ALL ages! 

Tickets are still on sale! Get them quick before they sell out. 

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