The stage of Her Majesty's theatre is readied to be rocked by an exciting pop-rock musical production next week.
A Ballarat theatre company is gearing up for the opening night of We Will Rock You, a musical adventure penned by Ben Elton with a score filled with the band Queen's best hits, that follows the story of rock-loving Bohemians on a journey to save music in a world where instruments and composers are banned.
Ballarat Lyric Theatre committee member and production director Stephen Armati said the company selected the musical for their annual production in an effort to provide a fun and exciting night out at the theatre for the community after a tough year during the pandemic.
"People deserve a good night out and We Will Rock You certainly does that," Mr Armati said.
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Audiences attending the Ballarat production can expect a "visually spectacular" show, with pyrotechnic special effects and a 10x8-metre LED audiovisual screen on stage, the largest ever installed in Her Majesty's theatre.
Despite the excitement, Mr Armati explained the production had faced some difficulties during lockdown and with COVID restrictions, and were prepared to have the show cancelled altogether.
"The cast and production crew were told from the get-go: 'We're putting this show on but we're going into the COVID-world, so it may get pulled and never hit the stage'," he said.
"The cast embraced that and it's made them more eager and determined to get the show on stage."
Veteran Ballarat performer Vanessa Belsar, who stars in the production as Scaramouche as she approaches 30 years performing on Her Majesty's theatre stage, said she saw the venue as her second home.
"We want the audience to feel the same joy that we feel performing here," she said.
The production also stars Montgomery Wilson, who worked as a professional performer globally on cruise ships and in London before he returned to Australia during the pandemic and being attracted to Ballarat by the iconic Her Majesty's theatre.
"The overwhelming feeling at the moment is one of gratitude for being on the stage and also being in something that can give back to the community, especially Ballarat," Mr Wilson said.
The high-energy production will also feature an exciting cameo from local athletic legend Steve Moneghetti, who has already attended rehearsals to learn some dance moves in preparation for his debut stage performance.
"He's a hero to a lot of Australians and it's a show about heroes, so it's significant having our own hometown hero in the show," Mr Armati said.
"He's got his own mystery moment, it's going to be hilarious, all will be revealed when people see him on stage."
Mr Armati said tickets to the show had "gone nuts", with the highest level of sales Ballarat Lyric Theatre has seen in several years.
"It's headed to be a sell-out season, it's a testament to how people just want to get out and be entertained again and we would love to see full houses" he said.
Mr Armati promised the show to be full of fun, energy, laughter and rock music played by some of the "best musicians in Ballarat".
"Come out and have a good night and kick on afterwards - we certainly will be," he said.
We Will Rock You will run between July 15 and 25.
Tickets can be purchased at hermaj.com/events/rock
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