WRITER Ben Elton is to direct the 20th anniversary tour of We Will Rock You, the futuristic musical he scripted for Queen. Week two will bring his 2022 cast to the Grand Opera House, York, from February 14 to 19.
“I can hardly believe it’s been 20 years since We Will Rock You premiered in London, or that much of what we thought was science fiction in the script back then has turned into science fact,” says Elton, the Eighties’ godfather of political stand-up comedy, writer for stage and screen and novelist.
“I guess Queen were always ahead of the game! I’ve directed this show all over the world and I can’t wait to bring it home to the UK with a brand new production and a fabulous cast of young Bohemians, Bohemians, most of whom were rocking in their cradles when this adventure first began.”
Powered by 24 Queen songs, We Will Rock You tells the story of a globalised future without musical instruments where a handful of rock rebels, the Bohemians, fight against the all-powerful Global soft company and its boss, the Killer Queen, in the cause of freedom, individuality and the rebirth of the age of rock.
Scaramouche and Galileo, two young outsiders, cannot come to terms with the bleak conformist reality, joining the Bohemians to embark on the search to find the unlimited power of freedom, love and rock.
The tour cast will be led Ian McIntosh as Galileo and Elena Skye as Scaramouche, with Jenny O’Leary as Killer Queen, Adam Strong as Khashoggi, Michael Mckell as Buddy, Martina Ciabatti Mennell as Oz, David Michael Johnson as Brit.
The ensemble will include Laura Bird, Kate Leiper, Joanne Harper, Anna Davey, Edward Leigh, Spin, Karen Walker, David Muscat, Damien Walsh, Laura Ava-Scott, Victoria Collins, Joseph Connor, Louis Clarke-Clare and Jacob Fearey.
The idea for the musical emerged from a meeting between Hollywood actor Robert De Niro and Queen musicians May and Roger Taylor in Venice in 1996.
De Niro’s daughter was a fan of the ubiquitous British band, prompting De Niro to ask if the rock legends had ever thought of creating a musical based on their songs.
We Will Rock You was born, premiered at the Dominion Theatre in May 2002, with May and Taylor as musical advisors, and the musical has since played to 16 million people in 19 countries.
Kicking off at the Kings Theatre, Portsmouth, the 2022 tour will visit 27 venues, including a second Yorkshire run at Sheffield City Hall from August 29 to September 3.
York tickets are on sale at 0844 871 7615 or at atgtickets.com/york; Sheffield, sheffieldcityhall.co.uk.