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Thursday, 8 March, 2001, 09:25 GMT
Ben Elton pens Queen musical
Queen
Queen were one of the biggest bands in the world
Comedian and novelist Ben Elton is working with rock group Queen on a new musical featuring the band's songs.

Guitarist Brian May said the band had been working on a musical for four years and hoped to stage a production by the end of the year.

Ben Elton
Ben Elton has enjoyed success with The Beautiful Game
"The rumour is that we're doing a musical, which is true," he told London radio station Capital Gold.

"Ben Elton has written us a fantastic script," he added.

Biographical

The original plan for the musical was to use biographical material from the band's history.

Queen were one of the biggest bands in the world in the late 1970s and 1980s but lost their main creative force and lead singer Freddie Mercury to Aids in 1991.

May said: "We've actually been working on this damn musical for about four years and been through various ideas, some of which were biographical, which in the end we didn't want to do.

Brian May and Liza Minnelli
Guitarist Brian May with Liza Minnelli
"But now Ben came up with this great idea, so we've been workshopping it privately and possibly by the end of this year or the beginning of next year we hope it'll be on in the West End."

The remaining band members, May, John Deacon and Roger Taylor will not appear in the musical.

Songs

May said: "Young people will be in it. There'll be a lot of Queen songs with some new ideas in there."

Ben Elton has already scored his first musical success, collaborating with Andrew Lloyd Webber on The Beautiful Game.

The musical, which follows the fortunes of a football team caught up in the Troubles in Northern Ireland, recently won the Critics' Circle best musical award.

The comedian also successfully adapted his novel Popcorn for the stage.

Brian May was speaking to Mick Brown on Capital Gold and the interview will bebroadcast on 15 March.

See also:

15 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Critics honour Beautiful Game
27 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Soccer musical has crowd on its feet
20 Sep 00 | Northern Ireland
Musical premiere boosts Omagh fund
07 Mar 00 | South Asia
Lloyd Webber's Bollywood dream
19 Oct 99 | Entertainment
Freddie's photo legacy
06 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Queen ballet comes to London
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