Queen legend Freddie Mercury would be punching the air with joy if he was around to see how old mucker Brian May is bringing a kind of magic to a new generation of fans, writes Graham Walker.
We Will Rock You, the Queen ‘jukebox hits’ stage musical, has been entertaining sell-out audiences for 10 years in London’s West End.
But just as the rock superstars progressed to bigger venues, the colourful theatre show is now rocking and rolling into arenas for the first time on a world arena tour.
It arrives for five performance at Sheffield Motorpoint Arena, from Thursday to Sunday, May 30, to June 2.
SEE THE STAR’S EXCLUSIVE £10 DISCOUNT TICKETS OFFER BELOW
In a rare interview, Queen founder and guitarist Brian May has been telling The Star’s digital editor Graham Walker that fans can expect a kind of magic like never before.
VIDEO: Press the play button to watch his exclusive video chat with Brian and show highlights.
The quietly spoken 65-year-old, with his trademark big hair, which he’s allowed to go gracefully grey in recent times, is a larger than life character.
He’s not just well over 6ft tall, in musical terms he’s a giant.
When he steps into the room for a chat with a handful of journalists, all eyes are on the living legend, whose reputation goes before him.
He has been voted in Rolling Stone as one of the greatest guitarists ever.
His band, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, have sold an estimated 300 million albums and had 18 chart-topping singles.
Brian has written many of them, including I Want It All, Fat Bottomed Girls, Who Wants to Live Forever and, yes, the title of this stage musical, We Will Rock You.
A musician, songwriter, producer, author, animal rights campaigner and Sky At Night stargazer, with a Ph.D in astrophysics, he got a CBE in 2005 for services to the music industry and charity.
His latest challenge was helping to transform We Will Rock You from a theatre show into an arena spectacular.
But as a music supervisor, with Queen drummer Roger Taylor, he explains it was familiar territory.
Brian said: “There was a great demand to put this in arenas. We like new challenges. And of course Queen progressed from being a theatre band to an arena band and eventually a stadium band.
“So this is parallel to our development.
“You can see this show anywhere. I have great confidence in it.
“The songs are there, the script is there and it’s a lot of fun.
“The arena was begging to be explored.
“There’s a certain feeling of occasion which you can achieve in an arena, that you can’t quite achieve in a theatre.
“And if people come out punching the air, then our job is done.”
It isn’t a Queen biography, he’s quick to explain. But it pays more than a passing tribute.
Written and directed by Ben Elton, the story is set 300 years in the future, where musical instruments are banned.
There’s an uprising, led by Galileo Figaro, played by stage and pop star MiG Ayesa, and his love-interest Scaramouche, with BBC’s Over The Rainbow finalist Lauren Samuels in the role.
Kevin Kennedy, Coronation Street’s Curly Watts, stars as ageing hippie Pop, with X Factor finalist Brenda Edwards as the Killer Queen.
She controls everyone on the iPlanet with the help of evil henchman Khashoggi, played by TV and theatre star Sean Kingsley.
Look out for Barnsley’s own Danielle Steers, 21, as a rebel Bohemian in a big, blonde Mohican wig.
On special occasions Brian brings out his famed home-built Red Special guitar and joins them in the finale.
Could he be planning to drop in and perform next week in Sheffield next ?
He teases: “You never know. It can happen any time, yes. When I’m free I like to come and play.
“They don’t need me but it’s great if I can do it.”
£10 TICKETS DISCOUNT: Rock on with a tenner off your tickets!
Queen musical We Will Rock you arrives at Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena next week and we have a Star exclusive offer that lives up to the name.
Get ready to be rocked with our special discount of £10 off your tickets!
This is not a retrospective offer and applies only to tickets you buy for the opening night, Thursday, May 30, at 7.30pm, and final show, on Sunday, June 2, at 2.30pm.
The discount will get you £10 off each ticket you buy, available on all £42.50, £39.50, £29.50 & £32.50 tickets.
Star readers need to quote Star Readers Offer when they buy tickets in person or call the box office on 0114 256 5656.
But hurry, the offer is subject to availability and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. The discount also closes on Tuesday, May 28, at 6pm.
The show features big names of stage and TV fame - including Coronation Street’s Kevin Kennedy, best know as his soap character Curly Watts.
But the stars of this show are also the greatest hits of Queen, including global classics Radio Ga Ga, I Want to Break Free, Under Pressure, A Kind of Magic, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, We Are the Champions, Bohemian Rhapsody and of course, We Will Rock You.
Usual SNL rules, terms and conditions apply to our offer.
But remember. Our discount is only available in person, or by phone, for the shows on Thursday, at 7.30pm and Sunday, at 2pm.
Usual SNL rules, terms and conditions apply.