Freddie Mercury to “appear” in We Will Rock You

The late Queen singer will be projected onto the stage as "an optical illusion" says Brian May

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Freddie Mercury will appear onstage in a special tenth anniversary performance of the West End musical We Will Rock You, according to the band’s guitarist Brian May.

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May told the BBC that plans are afoot to project an image of Mercury onto the stage using a new effect he described as “an optical illusion of sorts”.

“People will come out saying, ‘Did we actually see Freddie?'” he said.

However, May stressed that the technique used to bring Mercury to life would differ from that used to project a hologram of deceased rapper Tupac Shakur at last month’s Coachella music festival.

He commented: “It’s a little unfortunate they did that thing with Tupac as we’ve been trying to make Freddie appear on the stage for quite a while.

“[That technique] is something we’ve looked at ourselves but I think probably for a show that runs eight shows a week it’s not really quite practical.”

The show will take place on Monday 14 May to celebrate the tenth anniversary of We Will Rock You at London’s Dominion Theatre.

May also revealed that Robert De Niro, one of the musical’s producers, will be attending the show, though he jokingly played down the Hollywood star’s celebrity status.

“There is a certain person who’s coming that’s intimately associated with getting the production on in the first place – our friend Bob from Los Angeles,” he said.

“We call him Bob so we don’t get too overcome with his stardom.”

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We Will Rock You, which contains most of Queen’s hit singles, was written by Ben Elton in collaboration with Brian May and Queen drummer Roger Taylor, and is set 300 years in the future in a world where rock ‘n’ roll is against the law.