Devizes School; We Will Rock You Review

By Bill Green

Devizes School excelled during the week of 05 December 2022, putting on a spectacular rendition of the West End show ‘We Will Rock You’...

The Main Hall thrummed with expectation as the compere announced some housekeeping rules, including flash lighting and actors moving amongst the crowd, which had the audience murmuring with anticipation, then silenced as the lights dimmed.

The show then opened in a dystopian world, three hundred years into the future, where music has been banned, and all records (pun intended) deleted by the evil Globalsoft corporation, headed by the sinister Killer Queen played by Ella Petherick.

A chorus of students across all year groups burst onto the stage for the opening song, which set the pace for a break neck ride through a set list of Queen songs, which narrated the tale of our protagonists Galileo and Scaramouche searching for hidden instruments, heralded by lyrics heard in Galileo’s dreams. The Killer Queen instructs her Chief of Police – Khashoggi played by Imogen Newcombe – to find the ‘Dreamer’ and stop his quest. Galileo and Scaramouche search for the instruments with the help of a group of outlaws, and on the way find an unexpected love for each other, despite their opposing characters.

And it’s this juxtaposition which carries the plot with wit and warmth, with Izzy Lane and Ella Phillips delivering note perfect and emotional renditions of both upbeat Queens songs – bringing the audience to their feet, arms in the air – and reducing the assembly to silence and tears during the more introspective tracks. Both leads have incredible and complementary voices, chiming perfect harmonies, a real accomplishment given the complexity of Queen’s songbook. The ensemble cast were all on cue and on song, whip crack humour delivered by the cast, not in the least due to the underlying in joke of the contrasting characters named after unexpected real-life stars, Ozzy, Britney etc. The show ends with a full-on singalong of ‘We Will Rock You’, everyone on their feet, and sheer joy showing in all the cast’s faces – above all these kids had a ball, as did the audience.

The production was a fantastic interpretation of a technically complex show, delivered with ease, belying the work behind the scenes in the intense rehearsals leading up to the opening night, balancing studies and home life. The aim of entertainment is to lose the audience for a couple of hours, take them out of the routine and transport them to a place of joy, and all the players and team delivered note perfectly.


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