Added on 12-Mar-2003
THE smash-hit Queen musical We Will Rock You will be staged for the first time outside of London's West End in Melbourne.Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor were in Melbourne today to launch the rock extravaganza, written by Ben Elton to the music and lyrics of Queen.
Described by Elton as a cross between "King Arthur and The Matrix" the production has been the number one selling show in London since opening in May last year and has advanced bookings until January 2004.
But May was today careful to distance the show from the usual West End production.
"This is not My Fair Lady, folks," the 56-year-old told reporters.
The big haired rocker said the show was not a musical in the old sense but more of an experimental piece.
"It's very much away from the Andrew Lloyd Webber middle-aged experience," he said.
"It is a rock `n roll show ... a lot more powerful and louder than the average musical."
Featuring 24 Queen hits including, Bohemian Rhapsody, I Want It All and Somebody to Love, the show is a futurist adventure set in a time when live music is banned on earth and the kids are fed a diet of synthesised music.
Taylor said the rock musical, which the band first began dreaming of back in 1986, was a "bit of a dig" at today's homogenised pop music.
May and Taylor will spend the next few days scouring local talent for the 36-member cast and nine-piece band for the show.
So far more than 1000 Australians have auditioned, with the final cast expected to be announced next week.
While May ruled out joining the We Will Rock You band on stage, talk of a world tour with the surviving members of Queen was not out of the question.
"We keep threatening to," he said,
"It's still possible, but I mean we have a singer problem. We don't want to replace Freddie - it doesn't feel right even after all these years."
The flamboyant lead singer Freddie Mercury died of AIDS in 1991.
We Will Rock You will have its Australian premiere in Melbourne's Regent Theatre on August 7.
The show is also expected to go to Sydney but no dates have been set.
It will then head to Canada, Spain, Germany and Austria before hitting the United States in 2004.