The Show Must Go On
The new Queen musical is heading to London’s West End hot on the heels of the closure of We Will Rock You at the Dominion theatre on the 31st May 2014.
Dubbed We Will Rock You 2, the new musical is actually entitled ‘The Show Must Go On’ after the Brian May penned Queen hit from 1990 which featured on Queen’s 1991 hit album Innuendo. It was subsequently released as a single just six weeks prior to Freddie’s death in November 1991. The song peaked at no. 16 in the U.K. singles charts.
The song is a tribute to the efforts of Freddie Mercury continuing to perform despite approaching the end of his life. Freddie was so ill, and could barely walk, when the band recorded the song in 1990, that Brian May had concerns as to whether he was physically capable of singing it. Recalling Freddie’s performance, Brian states; “he went in and killed it, completely lacerated that vocal”.
After listening to John Deacon and Roger Taylor playing the chord sequence that later on would be the basis for almost the entire song, Brian May sat down with Freddie Mercury and the two of them decided the theme of the song and wrote some lyrics. May wrote down the rest of the words as well as the melody. The Show Must Go On was first played live in April 1992 at the The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, performed by the three remaining members of Queen, with Elton John singing lead vocals and Tony Iommi from Black Sabbath playing rhythm guitar.
The Show Must Go On musical has been written by comedian Ben Elton, author of the book for the hugely successful We Will Rock You that closed after a record breaking twelve years at the Dominion theatre, making it the longest running show at that theatre and the ninth longest running in the history of the West End.
Rumour has it that the show’s producers, which include Queen guitarist Brian May, also the show’s musical director are looking in the West End for a 1,500 seater theatre with their sights firmly set on The Adelphi theatre in the Strand, soon to be home to the musical Made in Dagenham, based on the film of the same name. Maybe after a much need refurbsihment The Dominion will host The Show Must Go On?
The Show Must Go On will feature a host of Queen songs, including many hits not featured in We Will Rock You, including one of my all time favourites, Sheer Heart Attack from the News of the World album. The show will though feature the anthemic We Will Rock You.
The closing of We Will Rock You baffled many within the theatre industry as attendances were consistently high and certainly public feedback was that it was a hugely popular show despite being mauled by the critics on its opening.
The story for The Show Must Go On is similarly cheesy and no doubt the high-brow theatre critics will be sharpening their pencils to slaughter the show. But there is no doubt that the music of Freddie Mercury and Queen lives on and is universally popular the world over, so expect there to be a big demand for tickets for The Show Must Go On when it opens.
Shows in London will keep you abreast of the latest news and tickets will be on sale for The Show Must Go On at www.showsinLondon.co.uk
‘My make-up may be flaking but my smile still stays on.’
The Show Must Go On….