Following on the worldwide box office movie success of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, the Queen and Ben Elton musical ‘We Will Rock You’ is back on a UK and Ireland tour celebrating its 20the anniversary. Damian Robinson caught up with Michael McKell from the cast, who plays Cliff, to find out more.
Hi Michael, the tour’s in full flow now. How’s the tour been so far?
It’s been incredible, thanks for asking. We’ve got such a good show and had such great audiences that we’re on such a good roll at the minute. We’re about halfway through the tour and we’ve just played to over 40,000 people in Cardiff which is just a really great reminder about the power of the arts and how much they can lift our spirits.
The show is twenty years old this year, what keeps it going?
It’s probably a mix of luck and relationships. We’ve had luck in that the show still connects to the audience and works really well, it’s incredibly difficult to still relevant 20 years later. And in terms of relationships, people seem to have a long-lasting relationship to the comedy and writings of Ben as well as the songs and stories of Queen. These relationships make huge differences and of course everyone remembers Freddie and Queens music is a real part of the fabric of most of our lives.
The story seems to transcend time in some way
Absolutely, the reaction the show still gets is extraordinary. When Brian walked on to the stage and played with us on this tour In Portsmouth I’ve never seen as may people openly cry. Their music is still such an incredible force and means so much to so many people. I think another part of the shows success is that this isn’t usual stage show music, it’s a solid rock band which gives it a different feel perhaps than to other shows. Brian and Roger still come to the rehearsals to make sure that the show is as good as it always has been, and once the cast see how much the show still means to them you can’t help but be inspired to put on the absolute best show.
Do you think people in 20 years will still be excited to see the show?
I can’t see why not. I think one of the most important things about the show is that it makes a difference; its got a great story and it makes people sing and dance and laugh. When a show is as good as this it can make a huge impact to people and I think for that reason alone it’ll still be doing the same in twenty years.
We will Rock you plays the Stockton Globe Mon 6 June – Sat 11th June 2022