We Will Rock You: Queen musical kicks off its 20th anniversary tour at The Kings Theatre, Southsea

THE 20th anniversary tour of We Will Rock You – the musical based on Queen’s songs – is kicking off here in Portsmouth.

Wednesday, 2nd February 2022, 1:46 pm
Updated Wednesday, 2nd February 2022, 5:39 pm

The smash-hit musical, which ran for 12 straight years in The West End, is due to open at The Kings Theatre in Albert Road on Monday and will run until Saturday.

With a plot set in the future where all music has been banned, it features 24 of Queen’s hit singles, from the title track to Radio Ga Ga, Don’t Stop Me Now and Bohemian Rhapsody.

Since opening in 2002 at has been seen by more than 16m people in 19 countries.

Comic and writer Ben Elton wrote the show’s book and is also directing the new production.

And the company has been at the Southsea venue this week for final rehearsals.

Ben said: ‘We have a massive tech week. The Kings Theatre is the very first gig of the tour so this is us getting it right.

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The 20th anniversary tour of We Will Rock You opens at The Kings Theatre, Southsea on February 7, 2022. Picture by Johan Persson

‘From that point, the tour moves on every week and you get in and out in a day, but we're spending all this week getting all of the lights, and video and sound effects and smoke and scenery...

‘I've spent the last month in a rehearsal room in London with the human element – the people, the dancers, the singers, the actors – now humanity meets technology which is always a big moment.

‘It's a big production – lots of bells and whistles.’

Brian May and Roger Taylor, Queen’s guitarist and drummer, have been very hands-on with the musical since the start and have been known on occasion to appear on stage. Will that happen at The Kings?

The 20th anniversary tour of We Will Rock You opens at The Kings Theatre, Southsea on February 7, 2022. Picture by Johan Persson

‘Never promise,’ said Ben. ‘Brian and Roger work with the band, but every now and then… who knows? I'm definitely not saying anything to say he might be.

‘They've certainly taken an interest, and they're certainly coming to one of the dress rehearsals, because they love it and I love them being there.

‘What happens on the opening night? I don't know. We'll see.’

The Kings CEO Paul Woolf said: ‘It’s wonderful. It’s a testament to our team and how far we’ve come as a theatre that a show like this, which is massive, could even think we could do this.

‘They could have kicked off the tour anywhere, but they chose us.

‘It’s a massive step up for us – the scale of the show is enormous.

‘Everything is going well – they’re thrilled, we’re thrilled. It’s an absolute privilege to have something like this here.

‘We’re just looking forward to the show now – a week of packed houses, the energy is going to be amazing.

‘We are really proud of our whole team. We knew we could do it, but until someone gave us the chance...’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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