November 19th, 2004 at 8:42 pm (Live theatre)
I didn’t know whether or not I’d enjoy this one. I had bought tickets on the basis of Queen music plus Ben Elton dialogue, but I wasn’t sure I’d really enjoy the music without Freddy Mercury’s voice; and then I read a really negative review of it in the Sydney Morning Herald.
However, having paid for the tickets, we went along … and had a great evening. I guess I can see why the Herald was so negative. As a musical, the plot and characterisation were minimal in the extreme, and the songs didn’t always fit in that neatly. However, taken as a show, the production values were good, the Elton dialogue was funny and the Queen music was great – and while the songs weren’t the same being performed by non-Queen singers, for the most part they still worked. Of course, some were better than others. I was a bit underwhelmed by Galileo’s (Michael Falzon’s) rendition of “I Want to Break Free”, but he was much better later – I guess since it was his first song, he was saving himself.
It said in the program that Ben Elton had made changes for the Australian audience. I expected it just to be a couple of lines, here and there. In fact, it was a lot of lines. (Probably more than I actually recognised – I have to admit, I initially missed the Wiggles joke.)
All in all, I had a great time. If it wasn’t so expensive, I’d almost be inclined to go again.
P.S. December 2004
In spite of the cost, I did end up going again. And had just as much fun the second time.