APRIL 17th - you
In January 2004 Mark, Ralph,
Paul and myself ordered the stalls tickets on row G for April
17th and April 19th.
We wanted to see the last performance of Sharon D Clarke as
Killer Queen, Nigel Planer as Pop, Kerry Ellis as Meat and we
also wanted to see the new players of some main characters on
Monday April 19th. Because of the impact of the show on April
17th we were actually certain Brian May would be there. How
little did we know of what really would be happening that day!
In January we had booked the City Hotel in Osborn Street. Never
been there, never seen it, but because a lot of hotels happened
to be fully booked due to the London Marathon that was held on
April 17th, we just picked this accomodation because of the
availability of a quad room. We arrived April 17th and on the
next day we discoved that the building opposite our hotel had a
very important Queen history. The hotel is at no. 12 and at no.
9 there is a building were the Sarm East Studios were. In that
studio Queen recorded The Prophet's Song and Somebody To Love.
The indoor of the studio can be seen in the videoclip of
Somebody To Love. There's still a plate of Sarm Productions on
the wall. You can imagine our surprise.
(On Sunday we went to the Tate Britain museum and there I bought
a large reproduction of the Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke
painting. The painting itself was not on display, but
temporarily stored away)
During our travel to London we decided to buy (circle) standing
tickets for Saturday's matinee. When we arrived at the back
entrance of the Dominion we learned that Brian May was already
inside and was going to play that day. We met some of the
players, such as Hannah, Sharon and Nigel Clauzel (he really is
a funny guy!). We also met Tony Bourke, drummer in the musical.
Every now and then Tony corresponds with Mark (yes, one of my
friends with whom I visit this musical) and he always comes to
us to have a chat. That afternoon the show was great and during
Bohemian Rhapsody the floor opened and we knew this was the
moment Brian May would appear. He looked stunning in his white
suit. The performance was great. As an encore the song We Are
The Champions was performed and this was a very special version.
It reminded me of the slow version of Hammer To Fall. Great
surprise to hear this song in this way. The audience went wild.
Both shows on Saturday were filmed by the way. And the cast gave
Before the evening performance we met a lot of fans outside the
Dominion at the back entrance. Having this Mercury Paradise site
with my own pictures on it has the effect that people recognise
me and make contact. Very nice. I also met Brigitte, whom I
first met in November after the last show of Tony Vincent. She
has her own Roger Taylor website (See links). Nice to see her
again. I myself recognised a guy but did not know who he was.
Later in the Dominion Theatre we met again and there he told me
he knew about my site. He happened to be the French webmaster of
Again, Queen connects people.
Shortly before the show Roger Taylor arrived at the back
entrance and before he got in he had a chat with us and did some
signing and pictures. He looked great and was very witty and it
was nice of him to take some time for us. We weren't too sure on
forehand if he would come to the theatre this day, but despite
the fact he's not too keen on musicals in general, I sure
appreciate he came along! Thanks Roger!
We also met Anita
Dobson who did some signing. This really, really is a very nice
This evening performance was one of the best I've seen. Every
member of the cast and musicians gave their best. Mig Ayesa is
fantastic. He is not a replacement of Tony Vincent. He does his
own thing in his own perfect way. I had seen him perform as Pop
and it was a great surpise to see him as Galileo. Amazing.
Hannah (Scaramouche) is one of the most talented and funniest
persons in West End I believe. If you did not know you could not
believe she has been playing Scaramouche for two years now. How
does she do it? Sharon's last performance as Killer Queen is
still echoeing inside the Dominion Theatre. That night I
wondered if she really could be replaced by Mazz Murray. I must
say I had serious doubts about this. Clive Carter with his
talented voice and funny acting was a real joy - as always. And then there
was Nigel who, for me, is the one and only POP. (Mig was
extremely funny as Pop also, I must say).
The ones who played for the last time got a very big applause
after every performance and Kerry Ellis (Meat) got a standing
ovation after No-One But You. Obviously she was moved by this.
Again the audience went wild when Brian arose from under the
stage. You just should have been there... His performance had
the power of Thunderbold and Lightning. It's magic to have him
playing during Bohemian Rhapsody and again he did his special
version of We Are The Champions.
A nice change is also that now during the show the musicians who
play live, are being thanked. At the end of the show they all
come on stage. Saturday afternoon Tony Bourke asked us which
seats we had and when he came on stage he indeed looked for us
and of course found us and waved.
After the show we went to the back door again for the "usual"
pictures with members of the cast. A little chat and showing our
appreciation of them all. Again Tony Bourke came to us and we
really had a nice chat. (he promised us to go for a drink the
next time we visit the show) We (amongst some of our friends,
like Steven and Cathrine from Belgium, and Brigitte and her
friend from Germany) decided to stay at the
back of the entrance until the afterparty inside the Dominion
had come to an end, to meet Brian May. We were fighting the cold,
rain and sleep to get what we wanted and it paid off. After 2
o'clock in the morning Brian left the building. The first thing
he did was to say goodbye to one of his daughters. In the
meantime Anita Dobson got into the car and while I stood beside
that door I was able to just have a very little chat with her.
Brian did take some
time for a Queen cover band from Argentina, who had joined us in
the fight against the elements of nature. They sure have a story
to tell when they get home! There was some time left for an
autograph here and there and some pictures were made. Thanks for
being there for us, Brian!
April 19th - I say hello
Before the show we had a little chat (as always!) with Dave,
the doorman of the back entrance of the Dominion. He calls us
four the Dutch Army. He told us he's coming to the Netherlands
to see Ajax-Fullham in August. He's a great guy.
We were very curious about this new cast. Of course we knew
Mazz Murray as Teacher/Charlotte Church and I had already seen Jenna Lee-James
perform as Meat. I really had my doubts about Mazz, because
Sharon D Clarke cannot be replaced. This evening it was proven
again how Brian May, Ben Elton and everyone involved in this
musical take care of this million dollar baby called We Will
Rock You. Some Queen fans cannot understand why e.g. Brian May
is giving so much time to this musical. Perhaps they are people
that haven't seen the show at all. I've seen this musical 13
times now, from "day one" (the last try-out and the
World Premiere, the first year celebration, the second year
celebration, the 'new cast' and shows in between), and I've seen
this show change, i've seen this show grow. I've now seen
players come and go. And the show is still amazing, still has
fresh elements, still gets hold of you, no matter how many times
you've seen it. And with this "new cast" after it's
two-year celebration it's like the rebirth of a phoenix.
Mazz Murray is Killer Queen. She's not a Sharon D Clarke but she
is a Killer Queen in her own right. The minute she arrives she's
there in all her own glory.
The same goes for Jenna Lee-Jones. Amazing and wonderful voice.
After this show we went to the back entrance of the theatre
again... There we met Spike Edney who signed my SAS dvd. Neil
Murray stayed a little while after I asked him to sign Ralph's
"Business (Rock On Cozy)"-7"vinyl single. Mig Ayesa really took time for his fans (just
like Clive Carter does). We had a chat with Mig while taking
some pictures with us and Mig asked us where we came from. When
we told him we are from The Netherlands he asked me (in dutch!)
"hoe gaat het met jou", which means "how are you".
This was great fun! After this we were waiting for Mazz Murray.
She had a big surprise for me personally. Some pictures were
taken with her and my friends and when it was my turn to be
photographed with her, I told her she was really great as Killer
Queen. She thanked me with a kiss! She asked us where we came
from and when I told her I live in the Netherlands and was born
in Amsterdam, she said (with a funny Dutch accent!) "Guido
Gazellestraat 2". She told us she lived there with her
mother when she was two years old and she had always remembered
her home address in Amsterdam!
The show is great, the cast is perfect. Hearing those Queen
songs sung and played live gets your adrenaline raging through
And when Brian and Roger are taking time for you, when the cast
are in for some personal contact (and starts talking Dutch!),
the staff of the Dominion recognizes you and comes to you for a
chat - like Dave and like Chris (who works inside the Dominion),
when the musicians even stop by unasked, and this is happening
to you when you are amongst your friends and other Queen fans
for so many times now, this musical WE WILL ROCK YOU becomes a
part of you. This musical has grown into something very
And something this special should not end with this tricky
number of 13 visits from my side.
I'll be back.