There are shows that critics can kill, and then there are those that are immune to any and all slings and arrows. We Will Rock You appears to be the latest in a long line of such productions. The musical, based on the songs of Queen, opened on the West End back in 2002 to nasty reviews but became a solid hit; so successful, in fact, that it has spawned two more productions around the world. The latest production opened in Madrid this fall.
There has apparently been some tweaking done to the post-West End productions of We Will Rock You, but the original design team—sets by Mark Fisher, lights by Willie Williams, costumes by Tim Goodchild, and sound by Bobby Aitken—has remained intact.
The Spanish translation opened at the Calderon Theatre Madrid in November, and as with the UK and Australian shows, the sound system was designed by Aitken, formerly of Autograph but now a freelance designer, also co-designed all worldwide productions of Mamma Mia with Autograph chairman Andrew Bruce. Autograph's Andy Brown was the nominated production sound engineer for this Spanish interpretation.
On this production the main system consists of L'Acoustics Arcs along with the L'Acoustics line array subwoofer SB218. The compact d&b E3 loudspeaker is employed for frontfill and delay, while the Meyer Sound UPM-1P is installed for surround sound effects. The Cadac J type is being used, along with a Midas Heritage 3000 for orchestra pit foldback. A total of 40 Sennheiser SK50 and SKM5000 radios have been engaged along with a Clear-Com communications system using a number of the latest wireless beltpacks the WBS-670.