Goodfella De Niro agrees to Rock us all

Preview by Jack Foley

 

HOLLYWOOD heavyweight Robert De Niro was in town this week (Tuesday, March 26, 2002) to promote a new £7.5 million Queen musical, We Will Rock You, at the Dominion theatre.

The star of acclaimed classics such as The Godfather, Heat and The Deer Hunter is to bring the rock musical to London as part of his Tribeca Theatrical Productions company and was joined on stage by former Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor, as well as comedian Ben Elton.

The show is also being backed by Queen Theatrical Productions and Phil McIntyre Promotions Ltd, and represents their first theatre venture.

De Niro, who flew in from New York especially for the press conference and to see a run through of the musical in rehearsal, said he was 'very interested' in doing the musical because he thought it was 'a great idea'.

" We’ve gone through a lot of stages with it, but now we’ve finally got this far it’s going to be terrific,” he promised. And although this is his company's first venture into musical theatre territory, he looked forward to it as 'a real adventure'; and something 'we will learn a lot of things from'.

Former Queen guitarist Brian May believes the show will be a fitting tribute to late lead singer Freddie Mercury, who 'would have loved it'. May described Mercury as 'a very theatrical character' who would have been very pleased with what we are doing.

However, the play itself is not based on the musical story of Queen, even though it will feature the band's music. May and Taylor confessed that the time wasn't right to focus on their lives just yet, claiming 'it would be too embarrassing'.

Ben Elton, who wrote the book for Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Beautiful Game, described Queen’s music as 'uniquely theatrical and grandiose', adding that the musical is 'as big as their music itself – it’s like the Matrix meets Arthurian legend meets Terminator 2', he quipped.

One of the undoubted highlights will be seeing Bohemian Rhapsody performed live by a chorus on stage.

It is hoped that the success of the London venture will pave the way for a world tour for the show, with May revealing that New York's Broadway could be the next stop.

We Will Rock You takes place in a futuristic world where rock music is banned and begins its previews on April 22, before opening on May 14.

Keep clicking these pages for future updates on the show.

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