last day of old cast - first day of new cast - and the hairy one in White
on April 17th and April 19th 2004
We had tickets for row G in the stalls for both nights, but in London we decided to see the show 3 times in a row...again!
 We bought standing tickets for Saturday afternoon.


APRIL 17th - you say goodbye
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 it all.

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 BootlegsHeaven.com. 
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 lady.

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 your veigns.
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 special. 

And something this special should not end with this tricky number of 13 visits from my side.

I'll be back.


If you wonder if you should go and see this musical:  DO ! 

If you wonder if you should go and see this musical:  DO ! 
It blows your mind!