I have been to London a lot over the past 10 years, and every time I went to London either on business or leisure I always said I would go and see the Queen show, We Will Rock You at The Dominion Theatre London. But, I never got round to going until this August when visiting London on a brief weekend trip.
You cannot miss the Dominion Theatre as there is a large statue of Freddie in his classic pose a-top the entrance to the Dominion. An amazing way to advertise the show.
Originally when I heard that the Queen songs I loved had been turned into a musical I was very sceptical and even a bit “How can they do this”. So I didn’t know what to expect – but hundreds of thousands of people couldn’t be wrong about this award winning show in its 12th year.
As I entered the Dominion I was met with a “Wall of Queen” – I was in Heaven. Freddie playing on the PA System, photos of Fred and the band on the walls. I spent almost 30 minutes walking and looking at these great photos. Everything from Freddie’s “Bonnie baby” photo to Live at Wembley. I got really caught up in this and the show hadn’t even started.
I even bought a Queen T-Shirt with the Classic Queen Logo. Plenty of Queen merchandise available to purchase !
(Above) Me and the statue of Freddie – (Below) the lobby with photos of Queen adorning the walls.
There are plenty of photos and items to look at before the show starts, so get there early.
We went into the auditorium and got ready for the show. The Stage is amazing with a fantastic emblem of Queen on the front waiting for the show to start.
The Show … and what a show
The show started and from that point I was hooked. We Will Rock You is a Queen fest of music wrapped around a good story and great characters. I just loved the 2 lead characters. The female lead is one of the best I have seen in any show. She has such character, such a “don’t mess with me” attitude and it really comes across. It is a wonder that that character has not been nominated for some sort of award (maybe she has?) … anyway, I am getting distracted.
The premise of the We Will Rock You is that it tells the story of a group of Bohemians who struggle to restore the free exchange of thoughts, expression through fashion, and of course live music. It is set in a distant future where everyone dresses, thinks and does the same (you can see some of this already in modern fabricated bands). Musical instruments and composers are forbidden, and rock music is all but unknown.
The show starts with the young people of earth being denied expression through live music but Galileo Figaro has different ideas. He hears stuff – he hears music. On meeting Scaramouche or “Scary Bush” he find someone who has similar ideas and between them they try and find Brighton Rock … no spoiler alert here so don’t worry.
In the middle of the show there are 2 very tender moments where Freddie is remembered, Only the Good Die Young and Days of Our Lives are sung and I challenge any person to keep a dry eye here as it is sung with such sincerity and feeling.
You may and try keep things under control but the music is so powerful that you can’t but be affected by those songs.
By the time We Will Rock you and We Are the Champions come, you are on your feet, stomping , clapping and singing.
Followed up by a rousing rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody all in all it is like going to a Queen concert. It really is a Kind of Magic!
It is an excellent show – I really enjoyed it … 10 times better that I could have expected.
I will certainly go back and see it again.
The Freddie Mercury Suite
Before I left the Dominion Theatre I spotted this sign for the “Freddie Mercury Suite” (with a picture of Freddie beside it) – I dropped down to the room but a member of staff said there was a private function using the room.
Maybe next time I will be able to report on this suite, as I’m sure it is a treat for any Queen fan to have their private function, perhaps Birthday, special event or even corporate event (see if you can convince the accounts department) at The Freddie Mercury suite.
Well done to the Dominion, the We Will Rock You cast and the excellent live Band (by the way Spike if you ever need a keyboard player, like when you go on holiday, drop me a line!!) for making this such a well rounded show.
The Queen Studio Experience Montreux is set to open on December 2nd.
The Experience is sponsored by the Mercury Phoenix Trust and allows you to have an insight into the years Queen spent recording here. The Queen Studio exhibition will open December 2, marking World AIDS Day.
Mountain Studios was the name Queen gave to their studios where they regularly recorded between 1978 – 1995. This is where Queen created many of the tracks for their most popular albums. It is also the location where Freddie laid down his last tracks to tape.
However it is not in the location where the studios were instead The Studio Experience is recreated within the Montreux Casino. This will show memorabilia from the original studio and from the band’s personal archives such as original Queen handwritten song lyrics, band members’ own instruments and original and subsequently changed titles of tracks, and much more. One of the highlights is the original control room where Freddie recorded his final vocals, along with the actual microphone Freddie used during those sessions.
You will also have the chance to sit in the actual studio chair Freddie used in those final days of recording. Also, the most amazing part in my eyes is that you will be able to take control of the Queen mixing desk to create custom mixes of Queen tracks from the “Made in Heaven” album. Personally I would love to recreate “Too Much Love will Kill You” and pull up a piano and play it myself … anyway, back to the Studio Experience, it will be opened by Brian May and Roger Taylor on December 2, 2013 and will open daily from 10:30 – 22:00.
Entrance free although donations to the Mercury Phoenix Trust are encouraged.
Are you a singer? Do you want to start in We Will Rock You, the Stageshow?
There are Open Call Auditions for the We Will Rock You US Tour.
Details for the auditions are as follows;
We Will Rock You 2013 Audition Tour
LOS ANGELES (week of April 15th)
NEW YORK CITY (week of April 22nd)
ORLANDO (week of April 29th)
SEEKING EXTREMELY STRONG POP/ROCK SINGERS WHO CAN HANDLE THE MUSIC STYLINGS OF QUEEN
Producers: Phil McIntyre, Queen Theatrical
Productions, and Tribeca Theatrical
Productions in association with NETworks
Book: Ben Elton
Director: Ben Elton
Tour Director/Choreographer: Tracey Flye
Choreographer: Arlene Phillips
Musical Supervisors: Brian May & Roger Taylor, Mike Dixon, Jason Howland
Casting Director: Duncan Stewart/Benton
Whitley of Duncan Stewart and Company
SUBMIT HARDCOPY: DUNCAN STEWART AND COMPANY, ATTN: WE WILL ROCK YOU, 213 WEST 35TH STREET, SUITE 804, NEW YORK, NY 10001
[KILLER QUEEN] Female, 30s-40s. Any race. Older woman. Ruler of the world, amazing rock/soul voice. Camp, sexy, voluptuous, feisty, funny, powerful and power crazy, ruthless, the BOSS. Every man’s dream of an older woman. Strong movement is an asset. VOCAL RANGE: FULL SOUL/ROCK VOICE, LOW E TO HIGH E BELT (BELOW MIDDLE C).
[KHASHOGGI] Male, 30s-40s. Any race. Chief of Secret Police. Attractive, sophisticated, intelligent, sinister, cruel, cold but charming. VOCAL RANGE: HIGH ROCK BARITONE TO A WITH STRONG FALSETTO.
[GALILEO] Male, 20s. Any race. Attractive, sexy, vulnerable, sensitive, doesn’t fit in, a rebel, restless, headstrong and stubborn. Tense. Lives on his nerves. On a mission to accomplish something with his life. Tries to find the right way to fulfill his dreams. VOCAL RANGE: HIGH ROCK VOICE TO Bb WITH STRONG FALSETTO.
[SCARAMOUCHE] Female, Late teens. Any race. A rebel. Deeply introverted and complex. A goth teenager. An awkward loner. A misfit. Uses her self deprecating wit to cover her sensitivity and vulnerability. Brittle, hard and bitter. Head strong and stubborn. Defensive. Must be able to transform and blossom as confidence grows. Good comedic skills required. VOCAL RANGE: ROCK BELT TO HIGH E.
[BRITNEY] Male, 20s-30s. Any race. Big gentle giant with a heart of gold. Strong, sexy, loveable, innocent, lots of energy, vibrant. Very street and very cool. Must be a good mover. VOCAL RANGE: FULL ROCK VOICE TO B ABOVE MIDDLE C.
[OZ] Female, 20s. Any race. Rock chick. Street sexy, womanly, tough, common, foul- mouthed, wild, worldly and experienced. Must be an excellent mover/strong dancer. VOCAL RANGE: STRONG ROCK BELT TO A HIGH E.
[POP] Male, 30s-40s. Any race. An aging hippie. Bar man, ex-rebel. A fun loving philosopher. A hippie stand up comic type. A cross between George Carlin and Robin Williams. He’s worldly with a natural curiosity and passion for life and music. Good rock voice and comic skills required. VOCAL RANGE: PLEASANT BARITONE TO E.
[TEACHER] Male and Female, 20s-30s. Any race. Excellent rock voice. Strong acting and comedic skills. Must be able to play camp, sexy, feisty, funny, powerful and ruthless. Highly likely this track will cover Galileo and/or Britney/Pop (for males) or Killer Queen and/or Oz (for females). Must be excellent dancers to strong movers as they perform ensemble choreography.
[MALE ENSEMBLE] Late teens-20s. Any race. Should have very strong rock voices and the ability and experience to cover. They must be able to handle dialogue. Must be excellent dancers, acrobatic skills are an asset.
[FEMALE ENSEMBLE] Late teens-20s. Any race. Should have very strong rock voices and the ability and experience to cover. They must be able to handle dialogue. Must be excellent dancers, acrobatic skills are an asset.
DEADLINE TO APPLY FOR THE CASTING: APRIL 12th, 2013
ALL INTERESTED ARTISTS MUST SUBMIT PICTURE/RESUME, AND VIDEO BY EMAIL:
PLEASE SEND YOUR SUBMISSION TO DStewartCoAuditions@gmail.com
NOTE: IF YOU CANNOT ATTEND THESE AUDITIONS, BUT ARE INTERESTED & AVAILABLE FOR OUR PRODUCTION DATES, PLEASE STILL SUBMIT & LET US KNOW.
FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT:
www.DStewartCo.com or Duncan Stewart and Company’s official Facebook Page
A quick summary on what is happening in the world of Queen this week and beyond…
Sunflower Jam 2012
The 6th Sunflower Jam, a Charity Rock & Roll Music Event takes place on Sunday 16th September at the Royal Albert Hall, London. Brian May and Kerry Ellis will be performing.
Tickets are priced from £30 to £130 (plus booking fee) and available from Eventim www.eventim.co.uk or The Royal Albert Hall box office www.royalalberthall.com/tickets
Queen – Hungarian Rhapsody Cinema Listings
The Cinema listings for Queen – Hungarian Rhapsody:Live in Budapest can now been found on www.queenonline.com. The Trailer can be seen below.
Barcelona – Special Edition
The new Barcelona Special Edition is now available to pre-order on iTunes. You can view the Barcelona Sampler Below.
Are you a Moustache wearer in the style of the great Freddie Mercury?
Then this is for you … Freddie For A Day Returns In aid of the Mercury Phoenix Trust
Freddie for a Day is now in its third year, it is a worldwide celebration of the life of the great Freddie Mercury. Freddie for a take takes place 2 days before Freddies Brithday which is 5th September. We can turn the world into one full of moustaches for a day while all the time raising funds to combat AIDS, which claimed Freddie in November 1991.
Freddie for a day in 2011 raised more than a quarter of a million pounds thought the Freddie for a Day events and contributions. The Freddie for a Day events were all channeled through the Mercury Phoenix Trust, the HIV/AIDS foundation set up in Freddie Mercury’s memory which to this day continues the fight against AIDS ignorance and AIDS infection worldwide.
Last year Freddie for a Day saw Katy Perry donning the a Freddie costume from his final Wembley concert, as well as moustaches on Stephen Fry, Jeff Beck, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, Russell Brand, and of course Ben Elton of We Will Rock You fame.
This Year Freddie for a Day hits the London Savoy on September 3 when the famous will be treated to another evening of Comedy and Rock’n’Roll. The nation gets to have their fun with it and make their own personal contribution on Freddie’s actual birthday on September 5.
Hungarian Rhapsody: Queen Live In Budapest ‘86 will be in a Cinema Near You From 20th September 2012
“Hungarian Rhapsody: Queen Live In Budapest ‘86” is a must–see cinema concert event for Queen fans. It will be released in cinemas worldwide from 20 September 2012. The film of this excellent Queen concert is expected to play in cinemas and theatres in over 30 territories worldwide. In the UK it will be screened in all the major cities, around 100 cinemas nationwide.
The concert was originally filmed in 1986, you might have seen clippets in Queen documentaries such as Days of our Lives and the DoRo films in the 1990s. The concert movie has been remastered in high def and crisp surround sound. But there’s more the concert is proceeded by a very special 25-minute Queen documentary showing footage from just after their historic show–stealing performance at Live Aid hrough the following year leading up to the concert in Budapest. The Queen concert, part of the Magic tour, was in the Népstadion, Budapest, and the first Western Rock Concert staged in a stadium behind the then Iron Curtain with 80,000 ecstatic Queen fans in attendance.
“We’re delighted that Queen fans across the world will finally have the chance to relive this amazing moment for the band. We knew a stadium concert in Budapest was ground–breaking, but hadn’t quite anticipated what a historic night it would turn out to be. The concert looks fantastic on the cinema screen in all its digitally re-mastered glory and the documentary does a great job of setting the scene – it really was an extraordinary time in the band’s history.” Brian May and Roger Taylor
Hungarian Rhapsody: Queen Live In Budapest ‘86 – a fantastic opportunity to dress up, sing along and celebrate the magic of Queen at your local cinema.
For Cinema listings and ticket information visit www.queenonline.com
The Queen Budapest concert Cinema Release date is 20 September 2012 with a Running time of 1h 55 minutes
A new Queen Documentary is due for release and Eagle Rock Entertainment have announced the release on 24 September 2012 of the Freddie Mercury DVD and Blu-ray, “The Great Pretender”
The documentary has been developed by same excellent team behind last year’s hugely successful documentary “Queen: Days of Our Lives” which ran on the BBC. “The Great Pretender” presents a compelling insight unearthing previously undiscovered or rarely seen footage of Queen and Freddie Mercury. This is also the for the first time available in Hi-Def.
“The Great Pretender” is produced and directed by Rhys Thomas, life-long Queen fan and expert (to the extent that Rhys famously broke the Mastermind all time record points score with a specialist subject of Queen). Rhys has this time turned his attention to the Freddie archive, going back as early as 1976 in search of vintage gems which reveal more than ever before the inside story of Freddie’s life and career and the solo projects he worked on outside of Queen.
“The Great Pretender” documentary has extensive archive footage from rare interviews with the press-shy Freddie, concerts, video shoots and personal material, much of it being seen for the first time, along with newly filmed contributions from fellow Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor, Queen manager Jim Beach, soprano Montserrat Caballé, composers David Arnold and Mike Moran, lyricist Tim Rice, comedian and lifelong fan Matt Lucas and many more.
There are some amazing firsts for this release, one of which is Freddie & Rod Stewart singing their demo for “Take Another Piece of My Heart”, an unreleased song from 1984, a snippet of the unreleased Michael Jackson / Freddie Mercury collaboration “There Must Be More To Life Than This”, and Freddie with the Royal Ballet 1979.
“The Great Pretender” documentary also has some funny outtakes from the video shoots for “I Want To Break Free”, “One Vision”, “Days of Our Lives”, “I Want It All”, “A Kind Of Magic”, “Princes of the Universe”, “Living on My Own”, Born To Love You”, “Great Pretender”, “Made In Heaven”, and “Who Wants to Live Forever” as well as other bonus features which will not be shown on any TV releases.
April 25th : Update – Tickets for the two Queen + Adam Lambert concerts at the HMV Hammersmith Apollo on July 11th & 12th have both SOLD OUT. Brian May has hinted at the possibility of a third date being added to the bill.
Despite the sudden cancellation of the Sonisphere Concert and with Queen set to headline with singer Adam Lambert at Knebworth, Queen have announced they are to go ahead with not just one but two Queen UK concert appearances this summer.
Queen and Lambert will perform at 2 concerts at London’s HMV Hammersmith Apollo over two nights, July 11/12 2012. Queen also promised to endeavour to give priority booking to all fans who had held tickets for their Knebworth Sonisphere concert.
Queens Hammersmith Tickets will go on sale this week. Tickets for Queens HMV Hammersmith Appollo concerts will be sold first to Queen fan club members, Queen online subscribers and Sonisphere Knebworth ticket holders and then on general sale.
A bit of Queen Hammersmith History
HMV Hammersmith Appollo was originally known as the Hammersmith Odeon. The Hammersmith Odeon venue was the scene of 4 sold out Queen concerts in late November/early December 1975 (at the height of the Bohemian Rhapsody release). Hammersmith Odeon was also the venue for a special Christmas Eve show and again in December 1979 when they played the opening night of a series of UNICEF concerts for the people of Kampuchea.
Amongst Queen fans, the Hammersmith Odeon shows continue to be regarded as some of Queen’s most exceptional concerts.
Queen HMV Hammersmith Appollo Concert Tickets
Tickets for Queen + Adam Lambert concerts at HMV Hammersmith Apollo on Wednesday July 11 and Thursday July 12 will first be available on a 24-hour pre-sale to Queen Online subscribers, Queen Fan Club members and Sonisphere ticket holders from 9am on Tuesday April 17.
General Hammersmith sales start Wednesday 18th April at 9am at www.hmvapollo.com and through Ticketmaster. Caller lines: HMV Tickets 08432 221 0100 / Ticketmaster 08448 444 748.
Tickets are priced at £65.00, £70.00 and £75.00 plus £6 booking fee on all prices.
For tickets by post an additional charge will apply.
Queen were due to play Knebworth at the Sonisphere festival but the Sonisphere festival has been cancelled.
The sonisphere organisers said “It is with very heavy hearts and much regret that we announce the cancellation of Sonisphere Knebworth 2012. Putting the festival together in what is proving to be a very challenging year … unfortunately circumstances have dictated that we would be unable to run the festival to a standard that both the artists and that Sonisphere’s audience would rightly expect.”
Ticket holders will automatically receive a full refund direct from their ticket agents.
What Queen will do next is unknown – Queen fans were anticipating a return to the location of the very last Queen concert with Freddie – would they do a full Queen concert with Adam Lambert at Knebworth?