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WE WILL ROCK YOU (article first published : 2005-08-20)

Following the phenomenal success of the sensational Chicago - The Musical, now on at Artscape in Cape Town, South African producer Hazel Feldman will be staging the international, highly acclaimed musical, We Will Rock You in South Africa next year.

We Will Rock You opens at the Johannesburg Civic Theatre on May 9, 2006. Thereafter the show moves to Cape Town's Artscape Theatre from July 25, followed by a limited season at the Playhouse in Durban commencing September 19.

We Will Rock You is described as a new breed of musical: a unique collaboration between Queen, the legends of rock, and one of the UK's most phenomenally successful writers, Ben Elton. Hazel Feldman values of staging the finest international productions featuring an all-South African cast will continue in this latest production.

"Shows such as Chicago and We Will Rock You makes it possible for local performers to showcase their incredible talent,” she says. “Combine the finest South African talent with the finest musicals in the world and you have an all-powerful combination on a par with or perhaps in some cases better than performances currently on London's West End and Broadway."

We Will Rock You took six years of development, eventually arriving at a cost of £7.5 million in London's West End on May 14, 2002 at The Dominion Theatre, Tottenham Court Road. It has been one of London's top show since its opening, breaking all house records at London's largest theatre, and playing to standing ovations nightly. With its innovative use of high technology, it has been hailed as "a new breed of musical" (BBC Newsnight) and "a hi-tech extravaganza" (The Guardian).

Now playing its fourth year in the West End, the musical has been seen by over 2.1 people, played over 1,200 performances and grossed more than $100 million at the box office. It recently achieved the feat of becoming the longest running musical at this flagship West End theatre, taking the record from the previous holder, Grease.

In the year it opened, We Will Rock You dominated the musical categories in London Theatregoers' Choice Awards presented by whatsonstage.com These are the only London Theatre awards in which the paying public decides who and what wins in all 20 nomination categories and voted by over 16,000 theatregoers. We Will Rock You swept the awards, winning each of the five categories in which it was nominated: Best New Musical, Best Actor in a Musical (Tony Vincent), Best Actress in a Musical (Hannah Jane Fox), Best Supporting Actress in a Musical (Sharon D Clarke) as well as Best Director for Christopher Renshaw who took the title across all categories voted on.

In addition, when London's biggest radio station introduced their own listener awards under the banner of Capital Gold Legends, listeners voted We Will Rock You the Best Performance of the Year. The only musical to be nominated in the category, the show triumphed against competition that included live concert performances by Paul McCartney and Robbie Williams.

Written by Ben Elton and featuring 32 of Queen's greatest hits, We Will Rock You presents an extraordinary company of young singers and actors in a futurist adventure set in a time when live music is banned on earth. The kids are in rebellion, fighting against the all-powerful Globalsoft Corporation who control their lives and feed them a diet of synthesised pop. A hero is needed who can help them rediscover themselves and live music. Could ‘the dreamer', the young Galileo Figaro, be that man, and can he help them break their chains?

Produced by Queen Theatrical Productions, Phil McIntyre, and Robert de Niro's Tribeca Productions with musical direction from Brian May and Roger Taylor, We Will Rock You delivers a show that reflects the scale and spectacle that marked Queen's live performances and earned the band its pinnacle position in rock history.

We Will Rock You is brought to South Africa by Investec, produced by Hazel Feldman of Showtime Management with a combined South African and international creative team. The Executive Producer is Global Capital.

Preliminary auditions in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban are set for October. Auditions under the eye of the experienced international team of Australian director Andrew Pole; dance captain of the British production, Giorgia Barberi and British music supervisor Mike Dixon will take place in November. Watch the press or visit http://www.wewillrockyou.co.za for details.




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