IF the box office smash Bohemian Rhapsody got you in the mood for Queen’s music, help is at hand in the form a new tour of the musical We Will Rock You which comes to Manchester’s Palace Theatre later this month.

Since 2002, over 15 million theatregoers in 17 countries have been thrilled by this epic show.

We Will Rock You is set in a distant, dystopian future where Earth is called Planet Mall and its inhabitants wear the same clothes, think the same thoughts and exist in a brain-dead haze. This system forbids musical instruments and composers, whilst rock music is all but unknown. The musical tells the story of Galileo, Scaramouche, Killer Queen and the other Bohemians as they try to discover the Holy Grail of Rock and restore the free exchange of thought, fashion and most importantly, live music.

Incorporating some of Queen’s best known songs, the book for the show was written by Ben Elton.

He said that it soon become clear to him that the story had to comprise an abstract quality “that reflected the feel of the words and music, rather than its literal content”.

“This was not pop music, but rock music,” he said. “Some of the most famous rock ever written, and legendary music should have a legendary context. I began to think of legends, both new and old, from King Arthur to The Terminator; heroic myths in which brave individuals take on the vast monolithic force of evil systems.”

Although We Will Rock You has become a worldwide hit - it spent 12 years at London’s Dominion Theatre Queen legends guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor had early reservations about staging a musical.

“We were not initially convinced, not being fans of the musical theatre genre on the whole,” said Brian. “The show needed to work in a theatrical context and retain the rock, whilst also incorporating the spectacle, uniqueness and humour embodied by Queen.”

This was certainly an important aspect to include for Roger. He said: “We took the music seriously, but we never took ourselves seriously. We always had the ability to laugh at ourselves.

“Some of the stage gear and even some of the music is quite humorous. The whole middle section of Bohemian Rhapsody was - we did a lot of daft things and a lot of experimentation.”

The only way the pair could see their music working in a musical theatre show was for the finished project to offer something new.

Brian said: “If we were going to go into this arena, the challenge was that we would somehow try and make it our own.”

In spite of their initial reservations, the pair were quickly won over.

“There was a point where I realised there was a whole new area of creativity opening up to us if we wanted it,” said Brian, “a whole new canvas to paint on.”

And they were quick to realise the contribution made by Ben Elton

“He has such a great, active mind that never ever stops churning out ideas,” said Roger.

Ben Elton soon took on to the idea of creating something “new in every sense”.

He said the intention was “to keep it a bit gritty and make sure it’s not a typical show”.

“It’s intriguing, challenging, achingly romantic, brutally cynical and at once both sad and hilarious,” he added.

Although is approaching 18 years since its premiere, it is possibly more relevant than ever. Featuring a hi-tech set which includes some of the latest technology it’s a glimpse into a highly-believable future world.

Brian recognises the musical’s significance today. He said: “I think it’s a very good comment on the way things are going. Ben’s idea that individuality is being eroded every second of the day and soon it will be impossible for people to write their own music, think their own thoughts, write their own poetry is very perceptive.”

Just as We Will Rock You explores themes relevant to those growing up in today’s world, the show offers younger generations, who may not have heard some of the music before, the opportunity to discover why Queen are so revered.

Brian said: “I had this very strange thought that it’s quite possible that this particular musical might be the thing through which people know our music in 300 years’ time.

“I’m quite shocked at how fresh this stuff still sounds and it makes me very happy, obviously”

For the new tour, We Will Rock You will feature a cast with vast experience of appearing in the West End.

“We’re confident We Will Rock You fans will love revisiting the world’s first true rock theatrical, and a whole new generation will now discover the VIBE!” said Brian

We Will Rock You, Palace Theatre, Manchester, Monday, January 27 to Saturday, February 8. Details from www.atgtickets.com