Brian's ready to
Guitar legend to appear at Queen tribute musical
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.