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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Talk is on the street that Queen and Ben Elton are working on that much vaunted sequel to their hit stage musical We Will Rock You. As the original London production of WWR goes from strength to strength, celebrating its sixth birthday next month and announcing bookings into 2009 at the Dominion Theatre, one can sense that the demand is already there.

Already by far the longest-running show at its Tottenham Court Road home, Queen and Elton's Rock Theatrical , as it has become identified (standard definitions are impossible), brings out the sixth guitar-shaped birthday cake on Wednesday May 21, and heads into its seventh year of nightly standing ovations.

The birthday show will be a special edition, likely to be marked by an ‘apparition' by one or more of its creators. Tickets for the anniversary evening are now on sale at normal box office prices (£27.50 - £55), in person from the Dominion box office or by telephone on: 0870 169 0116 (booking fee).

The evening will also see the official announcement of the show's booking period being extended a further year, into late October 2009.

In the six years since We Will Rock You played its opening performance in London the show has proved an infallible audience pleaser both at home and across the world.

In the past twelve months the London production saw its audience rise to its second highest figures since its opening. By September, the show will have been seen by 4 million people in London alone.

Its sister Toronto production, originally scheduled to play seven weeks, will end its present run having played 61 weeks to more than 700,000 people.

The one year Cologne, Germany, run has continued to be extended and has now been running three and a half years. The show continues to be performed in Germany with a transfer to Stuttgart later this year.

The show's opening in Vienna this January saw the highest ticket advance in the history of the Raimund Theatre, a remarkable achievement in the city recognised as the birthplace of musical theatre.

In this current year to date, We Will Rock You has also been produced in Singapore, Korea, and opens in Hong Kong May 17. A Bangkok season will follow.

And as for that sequel we're hearing about? With the band, in Brian May's words, "being pulled back by the long arm of Queen" to tour half the world later this year
and a new album to release, and Ben Elton's time consumed with a new book and further TV projects, speculators will likely have to be patient a little while longer to see how Messrs Elton, May and (Roger) Taylor will cap their present monument to ‘living rock'.

WE WILL ROCK YOU. A Phil McIntyre Entertainments/Queen Theatrical Productions and Tribeca Theatrical Productions production. Dominion Theatre, Tottenham Court Road, London, W1. (Tottenham Court Road tube station).


Scaramouche Ensemble

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