The mighty musical machine that was (and is) Queen has ever delighted the public as it seems, in recent years, to have dismayed critics immune to the band’s kind of magic when practised away from the concert platform.

Consider the massive success of We Will Rock You, which was dismissed by the pundits as puerile nonsense – and especially the book by Ben Elton – yet went on to conquer the world.

Then there was the movie Bohemian Rhapsody. Mercilessly panned in the press, it proved box office gold, with a best actor Oscar for star Rami Malek.

Well, here’s a critic prepared to give credit where it’s due. Seeing We Will Rock You for the first time, as it roared into the New Theatre for a week of sell-out performances, I found it marvellously good fun and a huge musical treat.

It was a tad too long for me, perhaps, at more than two-and-a-half hours, but I saw no signs of flagging from the cheering, arm-waving crowds around me in the stalls. And if some of the jokes are as limp as . . . well, I leave the comparisons up to you readers – there was no let up in the laughter either.

As jukebox musicals go, Elton’s story is fashioned well for the wonderful songs it showcases. We are transported – and how! – to a dystopian future where all traces of real rock music have been obliterated in a drive for commercial conformity by its tyrant ruler Killer Queen (Jenny O’Leary) and her evil lieutenant Khashoggi (Adam Strong).

To this pair is given the best number of the night as we are taken, through high-tech wizardry, on a thrilling ride over the skyscrapers of the realm to the accompaniment of A Kind of Magic.

Glimpses of the world as it was are felt by the rebel Bohemians, among them Brit (David Michael Johnson) and his feisty ‘chick’ Oz (Amy Di Bartolomeo), and likewise by students Galileo (Ian McIntosh) and Scaramouche (Elena Skye). If the former pair’s vocal style is rather in-yer-face, and especially that of Ms Di Bartolomeo, the latter duo offer near-perfection, not least in their great take on Under Pressure.

A six-strong band under musical director Bob Broad brilliantly supplies simulacra of Queen’s work, as Freddie Mercury rises once more on the stage.

Until Saturday. 4/5