A Blast From the Past and a Flash to the Future

Poster for Kingston Meistersingers' production of 'We Will Rock You!'. The title, production company, dates, times, and location are noted.

You’ve heard of iPhone, iPod, iPad, but what about iWorld? 

Kingston Meistersingers’ production of We Will Rock You!, directed by Rachael McDonald, is a jukebox musical with songs by Queen and book by Ben Elton. Bringing a collection of rock hits to Domino Theatre’s stage, the show flashes forward hundreds of years into the future: the world is run by Globalsoft, a music corporation that has destroyed and banned all instruments. They’ve brainwashed the kids, stopping them from ever making their own music. But Galileo Figaro (Nate Compeau), a young man who wants to break free, is outcast and finds himself amongst a group of rebels, all believing Galileo is the one who can bring back rock n’ roll. 

Compeau is outstanding as the protagonist of the show. He has the unique ability to ever so subtly mimic the voice of Freddy Mercury while bringing his own flare to the songs. Abby Stewart as Scaramouche, Galileo’s love interest and sarcastic badass, is enthralling. She has a captivating confidence to accompany her voluminous vocal range. 

The duo of Oz (Hope Durham) and Brit (Tom Medeiros), two members of the rebellion, is a pairing of pure chemistry. Their solo energies combine to create an electric shock onstage. Durham is especially breathtaking in No One But You (Only The Good Die Young)—her vocals ring throughout the auditorium as she hits and holds every note. 

And, of course, it’d be impossible to forget the two at the top of the Globalsoft hierarchy: Killer Queen (Chelsea Cameron) and Kashoggi (Brandon Vollick). The performers each seem as if they’ve been made for their roles. Cameron brings a sophisticated arrogance to Killer Queen, never too animated and never too understated. The raspiness in her voice coupled with the bellows of her solos seem to mesmerize an audience. Vollick as Kashoggi has the evil villain shtick down to a T. The perfectly tailored suit, the cane with the silver knob at its top, the slicked back hair and opaque sunglasses, and the evil laugh… It gave me shivers.  

Each of the leading characters were on that stage to give 100 percent of everything they had. Members of the ensemble elevate the solos with harmonized vocals and dance numbers, although they could benefit from more synchronized and energized movement. 

The script itself has a neat way of leading into songs through puns or speech that reflects the lyrics but the storyline could be more creative and fleshed out. Part of the challenge of creating a musical with already-made songs is that characters can’t sing their exact thoughts. Given this hindrance, most plot points are developed and resolved fairly well aside from the one about misogyny. It seemed as if Elton tried to dive into the topic of feminism but rushed it. 

There’s the direct insults to Scaramouche by Galileo but Buddy (Patrick Large) is the character with the most sexualizing one-liners. Large has an interesting delivery though. With a head-in-the-clouds and authentic old school air to him, he often phrases his quips as questions. It’s as if he’s asking Elton, “Really? You want me to say this?” Alongside Scaramouche telling him to tone it down, the show seems to be challenging misogyny at times, just with not enough dramaturgy to get the point across.  

Set design by Eric Brousseau and Shauna Strotman Scanlan deliver a two tier grungy treehouse—the structure is completely wood with makeshift railings. Rock posters are plastered on the set when the rebellion is in action and Globalsoft propaganda takes its place when the corporate robots are onstage. The structure is filled with many secret entrances and exits, too—none of which I’ll spoil. In one of these partially hidden crevasses lies the band. Never missing a beat and throwing energy at both the audience and performers, they do indeed, rock. 

‘We Will Rock You!’, presented by Kingston Meistersingers, is playing at Domino Theatre until April 6, 2024. The remainder of their performances are sold out but you can find more information about the show here.


  • Holly Hebert

    Holly (she/her) is a theatre artist with a passion for analyzing theatre in order to see it grow. She has previously written for DARTcritics.com, Intermission Magazine, and has been a participant in two installments of the New Young Reviewers program with Toronto Fringe. Being Kingston-raised, Holly loves the opportunity to engage with the theatre community in the city. If you have any questions or comments about the blog, email editor@kingstontheatre.ca.

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