Tag Archives: we will rock you

We Will Rock You

Wow, almost completely forgot to write about this. I really would have thought that by now I’d be getting good at this blogging lark. Really not so much.

On Wednesday last week, my Mom and sister came down to London, and together we went to see the musical We Will Rock You at the Dominion Theatre near Tottenham Court Road, where it debuted in 2002.

As you may or may not know, it’s one of the recent-ish trend of making a musical where all the songs are drawn from the back catalogue of some musical act, e.g. ABBA with Mamma Mia, and in this case, the music of Queen. As such, the plot is mostly an elaborate attempt to string these songs together into something approximating logical consistency. I say ‘approximating’, because some of the terrible convolutions necessary to make these things fit together are pretty extreme.

A basic outline of the plot is that it’s half past the future and for some reason (something to do with creating a bland cultural conformity) all non-computer-generated music has been banned. A rag-tag band of rebels, the Bohemians, are seeking out the Dreamer, someone who can (for some unexplained reason) hear rock music in his head. It is prophesised that the Dreamer will find the last remaining electric guitar and use it to rock out and save the world (“Planet Mall”) from the evil clutches of Globosoft and their evil CEO, Killer Queen.

If that sounds terrible, that’s because it is. To say that the whole experience gave me flashbacks to Christmas Panto at the Birmingham Hippodrome would be insulting to panto – the acting was pretty bad, the jokes fell amazingly flat, some of the costumes (for instance women wearing what were essentially leather bikinis) felt just out-of-place and exploitative, and the whole production just gave off an overwhelming stench of camp crap. The amount of Queen hero-worship was also utterly cringe-worthy. Sure, they were a good band, but you can’t spend an entire show making them sound messianic without looking completely ridiculous.

Furthermore, the amount of fourth-wall stretching references to contemporary music and events just helps to reinforce the impression of bad panto. No, we don’t need characters called “Lilly Allen” or “Britney Spears”, however funny that may initially appear.

What I did find extremely odd was the response of some of the rest of the audience, who loved bits I found just terribly akward. Some of them actually stood up to applaud at the end, which was utterly unnecessary.

There’s also a terrible irony in complaining about the soulless commercialism of modern music by creating something as utterly crass as this to wring money out of the Queen back catalogue. I do wonder if the huge piles of money that this show must be generating help Dr May et al. sleep better at night.

If you’re contemplating watching We Will Rock You, don’t. Spend your money on a Queen album or three instead. The only commendable portion of this production were the songs, and frankly your money is spent a lot better listening to the originals.

The Hard Slog Ahead

Once again I’ve managed to forget that this blog isn’t just to write articles about stuff, it’s also just to write vaguely long-form about where I’m at, and where I’ve been. So, here goes.

Since we last met, I attended the Fairtrade Society AGM, at which I failed to get elected as treasurer. I still believe in the cause, though, so I’m actually changing my buying decisions where there is a Fairtrade alternative. Which is actually kinda peculiar! There was also the Fencing annual dinner, proceeded by the shaving of the president, which was pretty funny. Some people weren’t too gentle with the clippers.

Namih gets shaved

The deadline for MSci project bids rolled in, and with any luck my project will be on using a tree code to simulate plasmas in which collisional effects between particles can’t be neglected (e.g. in a very high density plasma) and provides an O(N log N) computation time as opposed to O(N^2) for naive particle-particle interactions. If you didn’t understand what I just said, never mind.

Coming up, my exams start on May 18th, so I basically have to start hitting the revision really hard and cram a whole bunch of knowledge into my head over the next few weeks. It’s going to be quite a ride. Next term there aren’t really any lectures apart from a single revision lecture for each course, so it’s a straight run-up to the exams, and then we’re pretty much free after that. We have to start preparing for a literature review for the MSci project, which I assume translates as “Raid all the books from the library that are relevant to your project, and then read them”.

My family’s going to come up for a day, and we’re going to see We Will Rock You, so that should be an interesting diversion. I should also be Fencing every Wednesday, so that should keep me active.

Then, once that kerfuffle is all over, there’s the Summer Ball, which should be an awesome wind-down to the year. I honestly can’t believe we’re already at this point again. The rapidity of it all is kinda scary, as are some of the implications of this year being over, like a bunch of my friends finishing their degrees. It’s gonna be weird.