Everything you need to know about 'We Will Rock You' in the West End

From how to get We Will Rock You tickets to when to see the Queen musical in the West End, here’s your ultimate guide to We Will Rock You in London.

Marianka Swain
Marianka Swain

If you want to break free, then good news: We Will Rock You is back in town. The smash-hit Queen musical, which ran at the Dominion Theatre for a whopping 12 years, returns to London’s West End this summer, playing at the London Coliseum from June.

Featuring countless songs from the world-conquering band, plus a thrilling book by Ben Elton about a futuristic society where rock music is outlawed until rebels Galileo and Scaramouche team up to challenge the Killer Queen, We Will Rock You audiences go ga-ga for the show. It's travelled to Australia, Spain, Las Vegas, South Africa, and more, but British fans will get another chance to visit Globalsoft.

So, find somebody to love as we revisit the origins of We Will Rock You, how it became a West End institution, and what you can look forward to in its 2023 production.

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The birth of We Will Rock You

The original intention was to create a musical telling the life story of Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury. But, when the band began talks with Ben Elton in 2000, he had a different idea: an original story that could encapsulate the spirit of Queen’s music, but take it in a new direction. Elton also drew inspiration from sci-fi phenomenon, The Matrix, when plotting his dystopian tale.

The We Will Rock You story is set around 300 years in the future. Earth, aka iPlanet, is under the control of a corporation run by Killer Queen, who forces all of the Ga Ga Kids to conform to and consume the same culture, fashion, and ideas. But Galileo hears lyrics of lost songs in his dreams. He’s captured by the corporation’s police force, along with another rebel: goth Scaramouche. Killer Queen is worried about a prophecy that involves a “place of living rock”.

The rebels escape custody and join up with the Bohemians. Battles ensue between the two sides, while Galileo and Scaramouche fall in love. Can they bring back rock music and freedom, and defeat Killer Queen? Will we all get to sing along to “We Are the Champions” and “Bohemian Rhapsody”? Head to We Will Rock You to find out.

The main characters of We Will Rock You

Our hero is Galileo Figaro, aka the Dreamer. He turns out to be the subject of a prophecy: the one who can free everyone from tyranny. He’s arrested for singing (he can hear lyrics from songs he’s never heard), which is how he meets Scaramouche, and later the rest of the Bohemians, who guide him towards discovering lost musical instruments and changing the world.

Galileo’s partner is Scaramouche. She too rebels against their conformist society and has a passion for singing. She and Galileo gradually develop feelings for each other, but argue over who should risk their lives for the mission, until they find a way to work together.

Their main enemy is Killer Queen. As head of the Globalsoft Corporation, she rules the world with an iron fist, and demands that all music is banned. Anyone who disobeys her gets brainwashed.

Killer Queen’s orders are carried out by Commander Khashoggi. He’s the one who arrests Galileo, Scaramouche, and the other rebels — but when he disappoints Killer Queen, even he can’t escape her wrath.

Aiding Galileo and Scaramouche are former librarian Pop, who has read the precious lost texts about music, plus Bohemians, Britney Spears and Meat Loaf. They meet up with our central pair after they escape custody, and, by testing Galileo with a song lyric, Britney becomes convinced that he is the Dreamer.

We Will Rock You conquers the West End

The musical premiered at the Dominion Theatre in May 2002, directed by Christopher Renshaw, choreographed by Arlene Phillips, and starring Tony Vincent, Hannah Jane Fox, Sharon D Clarke, Nigel Planer, and Kerry Ellis (the latter has since, of course, collaborated frequently with Queen’s Brian May). Although the show got a mixed critical response, fans took the Queen musical to heart, and it went on to become the longest-running musical at the Dominion.

Notable cast replacements included the likes of Mazz Murray, Alex Gaumond, Brenda Edwards, and Rachel Tucker. We Will Rock You continued to reign at the venue until May 2014, running for 4,600 performances over 12 years. The Freddie Mercury statue outside the theatre became an institution in the West End.

We Will Rock You also launched the first of several UK tours in 2009, with the most recent finishing in 2022. It’s travelled the world, too, with its themes of embracing love, individualism, creativity, and liberation easily translating into other languages and cultures — plus Queen’s music is popular everywhere.

We Will Rock You returns in 2023

Now, the show is back in the West End for the first time since 2014, running for 12 weeks from June. The cast includes a returning Brenda Edwards as Killer Queen, plus Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat star Lee Mead as Khashoggi. Ian McIntosh and Elena Skye reprise the lead roles of Galileo and Scaramouche, respectively, from the recent UK tour of We Will Rock You.

The show is jam-packed with Queen hits, including “Somebody to Love”, “Killer Queen”, “Under Pressure”, “Radio Ga Ga”, “Killer Queen”, “One Vision”, “A Kind of Magic”, “I Want to Break Free”, “Don’t Stop Me Now”, “Another One Bites the Dust”, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, “We Are the Champions”, “Bohemian Rhapsody”, and of course the great title song. Find out more about Queen songs in We Will Rock You.

Get ready to rock one again and welcome this beloved musical home: book your We Will Rock You tickets now on London Theatre.

Book Tickets CTA - LT/NYTG

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