Freddie Mercury hologram will hit stage
Queen guitarist Brian May has confirmed the band will use a Freddie Mercury hologram on a West End theatre stage – and vows people will wonder if they really saw the star.
A digital projection will appear next week to mark the tenth anniversary of the band’s musical We Will Rock You.
The announcement comes soon after drummer Roger Taylor said he wouldn’t feel comfortable performing with a simulation of the singer, who died in 1991.
Controversy has surrounded the projection effect after rapper Tupac Shakur appeared with Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg at last month’s Coachella festival, even though he was shot dead in 1996.
Asked whether Queen would make use of the technology in a similar way, Taylor said: “I don’t think I want to. It just doesn’t sit too well with me. I don’t want to appear with a hologram of my dear friend. It’s the real one or no hologram for me.”
He added: “Were somebody to use a hologram of Freddie, I would have no objection.”
Now bandmate May confirms Queen are to employ the effect, although they’re not planning to perform alongside the projection.
The guitarist tells the BBC: “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.”
May points out the effect does not produce a true hologram – and adds the musical won’t use the technique employed at Coachella.
“It’s something we’ve looked at ourselves,” he explains, “But I think probably for a show that runs eight shows a week, it’s not really quite practical.”
The Mercury projection will be used at London’s Dominion Theatre. The original cast, along with producer Robert De Niro, will be present for the May 14 anniversary.
The guitarist vows: “People will come out saying, ‘Did we actually see Freddie?’”
Meanwhile, Queen have confirmed they’ll play a third concert in London with TV gameshow winner Adam Lambert singing. They perform at the Hammersmith Apollo on July 11, 12 and 14.
The Queen Extravaganza official tribute show, created by May and Taylor, is currently touring the US.