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Plug into the iPlanet and join Bankstown as they promise that they will "Rock You!"

Updated: Apr 9

About the show Based on the music of Queen, We Will Rock You is set 300 years in the future in a futuristic and globally corporate world. Planet Earth has been renamed the Planet Mall and is controlled by the Globalsoft Corporation. The head of Globalsoft is the sinister Killer Queen, who has banned all non-computergenerated music. She has heard of a prophecy that instruments have been hidden somewhere on the planet and that ‘The Dreamer’ will emerge from the people to show the way to them. She orders her Chief of Police, Khashoggi, to get to the bottom of the matter and crush any rebellion. Meanwhile, Galileo, a young student and an outsider, and Scaramouche, a young cynical goth girl, are desperate to “break free” from this corporate world. Galileo hears lyrics in his dreams and is heralded as the star of the prophecy by the Bohemians who have been searching for the lost instruments. To fulfil the prophecy. Galileo must evade the clutches of the Killer Queen and finally bring back the music. Name and role Will Smith playing Galileo Figaro Jack Maidment playing Brit Marika Zorlu Playing Killer Queen Tell us about yourself Will: I've always been interested in drama and music, and have several years of classes under my belt in my time growing up. I first tried out musical theatre in 2016 when I was 17 years old, with Gosford Musical Society's The Little Mermaid and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer! I took a long hiatus following, but I've just jumped back in to last year in 2023, and I've hardly hit the brakes since. Truth be told, musical theatre is addicting - I've even found myself doing two shows at once this season, despite working full time hours outside of them. It's just so rewarding seeing a production come together after months of work, and performing to an audience that's going to enjoy it as much as I do. Outside of theatre, you can also find me staying active as often as I can, and catching up with friends and family. Jack: I have been performing in community theatre productions across Western Sydney since 2017. Outside of theatre, I am studying a master's of teaching with a focus in English and HSIE. The most enjoyable part of theatre is always making connections and building new friends by doing something you love. Marika: I have been performing in school and community theatre productions since I was in year 7 in high school. I am absolutely obsessed with musical theatre and am so honoured with every role I get to embrace. Outside of theatre, I am a primary theatre Creative Arts teacher, teaching art, music, drama and dance to children ranging from 4-12. So basically - I get to be a drama QUEEN all day long. Did someone say #typecast? The thing I like most about theatre is the incredible connections with people that you make along the way. I also love getting to first hand witness and appreciate all the talent that goes into a production - from the creative team and the crew right down to to every single ensemble member in a show. Honestly, everyone is so talented in community theatre that it makes me feel really blessed to be able to share the stage with such incredible people. What can audiences look forward to when they come see the show?

Will: We Will Rock You is great because of how accessible it is as a show. I can definitely see musical theatre people loving it for its camp, ridiculous nature regardless of how zany it can be. On the flipside, this reaches casual theatre-goers too, in the audiences that really just want to see Queen music brought to life, and I think they'd love this show as well. Moreover, I won't spoil too much right now, but I've seen and heard of some pretty exciting developments from several facets of the production (like choreography, set design, costumes, etc.) that I think audiences will love once they reach the stage.

Jack: A heartfelt, but still silly story about love and identity accompanied by some of the greatest songs ever written. Marika: If you love the music from QUEEN, then you’re going to absolutely love this show! The story is very silly (but still absolutely has moments that pull on the heart strings) and the music is just next level good. Come for the music - stay for the incredible talent on stage!!!

How has been the rehearsal process?

Will: Really organised, and really fun. Daniel is an excellent director, and has made the whole process, and the natural flow of rehearsals, very refined and with purpose. In fact, I've felt that all of the production team are on their A-games, including lots of things being worked on behind the scenes (costumes, promo, etc.). Each rehearsal, cast and crew are there with a smile on their face and are bringing their best efforts the whole night. It's led me to have a lot of faith in this production being a great success!

Jack: The rehearsal process has been fantastic, it feels like we've been super productive and things are already falling into place. Marika: It has been so incredible to work with such talented people. Daniel (our director), Bronte (our choreographer) and Dean and Ben (our MD and ADMD) have just been so incredible to work with. They all bring their own talent and flavour to the rehearsal process and I have really enjoyed learning from each and every single one of them. I also must say that this is the first show I have been apart of where I get to wear and parade around 4 costumes made to my measurements from scratch!!!! Arthur, our costume designer, is just a total pro. I can’t wait for audiences to see his masterpieces - they are really something special. Other than the total professionals on the production team, the cast are just so fun and friendly and the banter is just so so good. It makes going to every rehearsal such a fun time!

What do you like about the show? Why did you choose to be involved?

Will: First and foremost, I love this show for its music. The comedy in this script does appeal deeply to my dumb dad-joke sense of humour, but I do really love this show for the tunes. Queen's Greatest Hits album was actually the first CD album I was given as a kid, and I also had the Queen Singstar on the Playstation, so I've really grown up with these songs. With the exception of some lyrical changes, it's the least learning I've ever had to do for a theatre production! It's hard to say no to something like that, which is why I chose to be involved.

Jack: The music of this show is second to none, being able to belt out some of Queen's greatest hits was something I couldn't resist. Marika: I am obsessed with the music from QUEEN. At every karaoke night, I always make sure I whip out Bohemian Rhapsody (which I’m sure everyone can relate to) because it’s just so addictive to sing. I actually auditioned for this show 4 years ago when Blackout Theatre Company were going to do the show, and I managed to score the same role back then, but unfortunately that was the year that COVID hit us pretty bad and we had to cancel the show before all the good stuff got to happen. So I’m exceptionally excited to get the opportunity to do it again and actually take it to the stage this time!

Other than yourself, which cast member do you think audiences should keep an eye out for?

Will: It's so hard to say anyone in particular, because everyone from leads to ensemble is absolutely killing it in their roles, and are amazing casting choices. Only because I've seen more of their scenes in rehearsals at this stage, I'd say keep an eye out for Jack and Jess, as Brit and Oz. I've seen them both bring such fiery passion to those characters, and the chemistry between them flows so smoothly; it is a shockingly good time watching their scenework together, and with the rest of us on stage.

Jack: Jess Green is absolutely killing it in the role of Oz. Already she is weaving together a performance that is just impossible not to love, and in my opinion her song is the best in the show. Marika: Look, I’m not going to lie - this is actually a hard question because we have so much talent, but I have to say that Jess Green is an absolute icon. Her vocal power and ability to really hit the heartstrings when she sings is just next level. I have been really enjoying watching her character unfold over the course of the show and I think that audiences are going to absolutely LIVE for the mighty duo - Brit and Oz!

What do you want the audience to think about? What is the message of the show?

Will: Oh man, that's a bit of hard one, because for a lot of the show, it's uh... it's nonsense. In a super entertaining way, of course. I think the most significant theme, and perhaps the message of the show, is the importance of individuality versus the technological/digital identity. It's about thinking freely, and being able to release oneself from the clutches of a society that oppresses, and indeed an identity that stifles. As far as what I'd like audiences to think about? More than anything I'd really like for them to just have an enjoyable time. Have a laugh at the crazy storyline and jokes throughout the script, be wowed by the incredible voices and Queen music we have to show, and just have fun!

Jack: I think the strongest message audiences should take away from this show is the importance of holding onto the things and people we love, and expressing that love to be true to ourselves. Marika: Even though this show is such a fun, silly and has such a lighthearted nature to it, I do think the show promotes the deeper message being true to yourself and not changing who you are for anybody or anything. I feel like this is a really beautiful sentiment and thing to promote to audiences in such an age that is so fuelled by ‘likes’ and popularity on social media so I’m all for it!!!

Make sure to catch Bankstown Theatre Company's production of We Will Rock You at the Bryan Brown Theatre April 26 - May 5th. Tickets and more information can be found at this link

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