Awful. For the first time in my theatre-going history I've left at the interval. The acting is atrocious, the rewitten script totally unfunny and the set is an hybrid of hi-tech screens (which actually aren't too bad) and cheap set-pieces which you can see being rolled on and off- the worst being a supposed block of concrete which wobbled whenever anyone went near it. Totally miscast, particularly Killer Queen who had an weird accent and Khasshogi who seemed to be channeling the spirit of Joe Lycett as he looked and sounded like him. The audience around me were lapping it up though, particularly the women behind who were screeching at every peurile joke- another reason I left as I didn't think I could stand another hour of that. Freddie must be spinning in his grave....
An interesting experience. Show was sold out in Canterbury . Good reception, standing ovation, crowd sing along , and can actually sing well.
Changes to the story and script are actually not that great- the problems are in the detailed changes. Elena sounds good , just looks younger, slighter, and less sassy than a Sabrina or Lauren, or Lauren, or Amanda , or Helen. Ian McIntosh worked as Galileo. Amy Di Bartolomeo is a very good Meat (or would be but for a name change to Oz )- she sounds excellent and brings physicality to the role - she actually looks like she could take anyone in a fight. Michael McKell brings out all the comedy in his lines well and has an excellent connection with the audience. Jenny O'Leary has a basic problem in that she looks like the Killer Queen's daughter, and its difficult to look domineering when some of your props and choreography are not in this production .
Whats odd is the nature of the changes from the original . For some reason the script has been sanitized, and made politically correct for the woke generation .Meat has become Oz - for no logical reason other than to perhaps stop vegans collapsing of shock in the aisles? Killer Queen has no ray gun- because guns will frighten the audience - so she kills with weird dancing? the torture of the bohemians is less effectively, and convincingly, done. Buddy can do his bike scene where his protuberance issues ,stay in the script, but he can't tell us where he has hidden the videotape any more. The opening routine with lots of bare flesh on display from both sexes, has been replaced by some grey and unisex outfits that leaves everything to the imagination. And Brit's chest and muscles , have been hidden in another grey coverall outfit. And Scaramouche doesn't get to flash her union jack underwear - presumably as the woke anti-imperialists or anti knickers fanatics would be offended.
Its all bizarre. Brit is rendered less sexy , while Meat keeps her revealing outfit. Scaramouche remains sexy, but can't show her underwear. Everything is more PC , and with it the threat and the sex and some of the humour is downplayed. But at the same time as all perverse sensibilities are being played up to, Elton manages to slip in some new jokes about the sexually confused woken folken - that mirror those he's put Into Upstart Crow .
Better to have left the script alone and just adjusted to reflect the fact that the cast is smaller , and a few scenes from the original are impractical on tour.
Worth a look though, if just to hear some of the songs, watch this Meat, and listen to Bohemian Rhapsody at the end.