Stuff that occurs to me

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Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

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Science in London: The 2018/19 scientific society talks in London blog post

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Bohemian Rhapsody sing-along is great fun

"I'm having such a good time, I'm having a ball"

A few weeks ago I went to see Bohemian Rhapsody with a friend*. Neither of us are Queen fans in particular but we grew up with a lot of the songs so have fond memories. Of course we loved it and afterwards she suggested that it might do rather well as a sing-along (hadn't even occurred to me!), I agreed.

A few weeks later the Prince Charles Cinema announced they were going to screen the UK premiere of Bohemian Rhapsody the Sing Along version, where lyrics to the songs appear on the screen and everyone joins in. So on Sunday she and I went back to see the film again but this time to sing along, legitimately.

When we walked into the auditorium (the big one downstairs at the PCC with the very cambered seats) there seemed to be t-shirts on sale immediately to our left. I thought 'merch' was a good idea but then realised that every single seat had a free yellow t-shirt with Bohemian Rhapsody on it for us to wear. When we got closer to our seats we also spotted that everyone had a clip on Freddie Mercury moustache to wear. I thought that was a rather lovely touch and the venue was fully booked, with another performance straight after ours (we were at the afternoon one).

I've never been to a sing-along performance before but it's all fairly obvious. They did give us a few tips and practice runs at the pre-show 'briefing' (they also got a few people on stage to show off their best rock star poses) and got us to try out a bit of the 'ay-oh' stuff and wave our hands during We Are The Champions etc.

If you've not seen the film before I suppose there's a danger that you might focus more on the words and singing along so you might miss something, I was glad I'd already seen it. Also, particularly in the live concert parts (including Live Aid) the songs are sung slightly differently from the recorded versions so in a couple of cases I was (and I presume some others) singing the tune 'wrongly'. You can see the original Live Aid performance in this video.

The words-on-screen worked really well. They arrived just in time and slightly changed colour as the phrase progressed - very handy during one of the longer aaaaaaaaaaaaaay-ohs (see at around 7mins in the vid above) - a bit like the bouncing ball marking out the notes in kids' TV programmes I grew up with. The words also appeared and disappeared in quite an artistic way, not like subtitles. It was well done.

Afterwards my friend suggested that it would do well on the open air circuit (again, hadn't occurred to me) and of course she's absolutely right. It's perfect for that. Wonder if we'll show it at the Charlton and Woolwich Free Film Festival later this year.

The moustache now lives on my bathroom light pull. It keeps falling off but I keep putting it back.

*Yes of course I was also looking forward to seeing Tom Hollander in another film (he's been in about six lately, fantastic, he's wonderful).

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