Brian's ready to

Gui­tar le­gend to ap­pear at Queen tribute mu­si­cal

Evening Express (City Final) - The Guide - - ARTS AND STAGE - By Lau­rna Robert­son

QUEEN gui­tarist Brian May will pay tribute to the band’s late, great front man Fred­die Mer­cury when he takes to the stage in Aberdeen next week. Brian is to put in an ap­pear­ance at Wed­nes­day’s per­for­mance of We Will Rock You, which opens at His Majesty’s Theatre for a month-long run next week. The mu­si­cal, con­ceived with Fred­die in mind by his band­mates Brian and Roger Tay­lor, has been watched by more than 11 mil­lion peo­ple world­wide and has smashed Aberdeen box of­fice records, ex­ceed­ing £1 mil­lion in ticket sales even be­fore it opens. We Will Rock You was in­tended as a tribute to the mu­si­cal ge­nius of Fred­die, who passed away 20 years ago. It cel­e­brates the mu­sic which made the band in­ter­na­tional stars. Brian will be tak­ing to the stage with the cast mem­bers for one night only. He said: “We try to get to as many shows as we can.” A theatre in­sider said: “Prepa­ra­tions for Brian’s visit have started and we are very much look­ing for­ward to hav­ing him at His Majesty’s Theatre.” At pre­vi­ous shows, Brian joined cast mem­bers on­stage for a stun­ning cli­max when he per­formed a gui­tar solo

“Cel­e­brates the band”

to the band’s big­gest hit Bo­hemian Rhap­sody. Both Brian and Roger of­ten won­der how it would have turned out if Fred­die had been in­volved with the show. “He would have loved it and I con­stantly won­der what his in­put would have been, “said Brian. “He loved drama, he loved tal­ent and he was so stim­u­lat­ing and dif­fer­ent.” Roger said: “He would have loved it more than me as I nor­mally hate mu­si­cals. I think we’ve made a good show as it’s like a con­cert with a story and plenty of laughs.” This year marks the 40th an­niver­sary of Queen’s for­ma­tion and yet their mu­sic is still as well-known and loved as ever. We Will Rock You, which in­ter­weaves 24 of their top hits with a fu­tur­is­tic nar­ra­tive, will be the clos­est fans get to see­ing the band on­stage. Brian hasn’t been up in the Gran­ite City since be­fore he be­came an in­ter­na­tional gui­tar hero. “We have not played in Aberdeen since the early days of the band,” he said. “I re­mem­ber we had tech­ni­cal prob­lems at a gig but the au­di­ence were in­cred­i­ble.” Pre­view­ing in Lon­don in 2002, We Will Rock You has been per­formed world­wide for more than nine years. Orig­i­nally the mu­si­cal was go­ing to be about Fred­die Mer­cury’s life. Brian said: “We tried to make a mu­si­cal out of bi­o­graph­i­cal ma­te­rial. “Then Ben El­ton said do you want me to write some­thing for it and two weeks later he told us he’d got it. He said that it was set in the fu­ture and he’d al­ready picked the songs.” Ben El­ton, who found fame writ­ing for The Young Ones and Black­ad­der, set the ac­tion 300 years in the fu­ture where mu­sic has lost all in­di­vid­u­al­ity. Black sheep Galileo, played by Hear’say pop star Noel Sullivan, and Scaramouche, played by Amanda Coutts, take on the Killer Queen, played by Tif­fany Graves, and her Or­wellian regime in or­der to find real in­stru­ments to make real mu­sic. The show also fea­tures a fa­mil­iar face for soap fans with Ian Red­ding­ton play­ing ec­cen­tric Pop. Red­ding­ton is the only ac­tor to have a ma­jor role in both EastEnders, as Richard Cole – aka Tricky Dicky – and Corona­tion Street, as Ver­non Tom­lin. Over the years, We Will Rock You has be­come the ultimate sin­ga­long show. Of the last­ing ap­peal of Queen’s work, Brian said: “We’ve fol­lowed our hearts and I think the mu­si­cal has been suc­cess­ful be­cause we speak the lan­guage of nor­mal peo­ple and the lan­guage of rock stars. “Hope­fully we cap­ture the real dreams and frus­tra­tions of peo­ple which was al­ways im­por­tant to Fred­die.” We Will Rock You opens on June 7 at HMT and runs un­til July 2.

“Fol­lowed our hearts”

FU­TUR­IS­TIC: We Will Rock You fea­tures many of Queen’s best-sell­ing hits.

MAGIC: North-east ma­gi­cians Barry Jones and Stu­art Ma­cLeod are per­form­ing at The Lemon Tree. LE­GEND: For­mer Queen singer Fred­die Mer­cury.

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