If you want to start the year off with a scintillating bang then you should go and see Queen: It’s a Kinda Magic, showing at the Mandela at Joburg Theatre. It is a theatrical creation of the very best of Queen’s live concerts, yet the performers are such technically brilliant musicians that it feels like you’re experiencing a real live Queen concert!
Hits from 1973 to 1991 had most fans on their feet, singing the words out loud and generally letting their hair down – but it wasn’t just the familiar music that made the show a success … the extraordinary lighting, iconic Freddie Mercury costumes and the overall atmosphere of the show rocked the audience and captured the essence of the truly great band.
As Freddy Mercury, Giles Taylor delivers not only vocally (although not really reaching Mercury’s high notes) but as a consummate, talented pianist. His charismatic personality translates the Freddie Mercury poses and stances perfectly. His presence exudes the Mercury confidence and cockiness and that ‘stache is just the cherry on top!
Backed by some extraordinary musicians, the show simply had the audience screaming for more. Nimble-fingered lead guitarist Richie Baker plays Brian May with brilliance – some outstanding solos will mesmerise you. Johannesburg’s own Steven Dennett on bass guitar (playing John Deacon) had fans going crazy with Another One Bites the Dust and much more, and gorgeous blonde Kyle Thompson (as Roger Taylor) drummed with a passion and energy that were completely out of this world.
There are so many Queen hits – all of them highlights and some more like anthems – We are the Champions, I Want it All, We Will Rock You are just some examples. Another highlight was I Want to Break Free, performed with a hilarious re-staging of the music video with Mercury in drag!
All in all, it’s majestic. Go see it!
Queen: It’s A Kinda Magic is brought to South Africa by Showtime Australia and will run from January 14th to February 7th 2016
Tickets cost R160, R220, R260 and R350 and are available online here or can be booked by calling 0861 670 670. For group bookings of 10 or more, please contact the theatre directly on 011 877 6853/6815.
By Paola Chellew
Photo credits: Mariola Biela