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Tuesday, 29 January, 2002, 10:51 GMT
Curtain up on Boy George's Taboo
Euan Morton
Euan Morton plays the character of Boy George
Pop star and DJ Boy George has been joined by members of Queen for a charity showing of his new musical Taboo before its world première on Tuesday.

The star penned the story of his rise to fame, and included colourful characters from the era such as Leigh Bowery, Steve Strange and Marilyn.

Boy George
Boy George fought a long battle against drugs
Queen's Roger Taylor and Brian May hosted the charity night in aid of Child Welfare Society and the Mercury Phoenix Trust - an Aids charity set up in the name of the late Freddie Mercury.

The première will be held at the newly opened Venue Theatre in London, and the public will be able to see the show from Wednesday.

Boy George - real name George O'Dowd - rose to fame during the New Romantic era with his group Culture Club.

The group hit the dizzy heights of chart success but Boy George came crashing down after becoming addicted to heroin.
Matt Lucas
Matt Lucas is the larger-than-life Leigh Bowery

Taboo aims to show the glamour of showbusiness as well as the dark side; the backstabbing and vanity which surrounded it at that time.

It features a host of new songs written by Boy George as well as Culture Club's number one singles, Do You Really Want to Hurt Me and Karma Chameleon.

Boy George has since quit drugs and relaunched himself as a successful club DJ.

Open auditions were held for Taboo to find actors and singers to resemble the stars of the 80s.

Euan Morton won the part of the dread-locked Boy George and Paul Baker plays club promoter Philip Salon.

Brian May and Anita Dobson
Brian May and Anita Dobson supported the charity night
Comedian Matt Lucas, famed for his George Dawes character on the BBC's Shooting Stars, takes the role of the flamboyant performance artist Leigh Bowery, who died of an Aids-related illness in 1994.

Boy George is following in the footsteps of pop duo The Pet Shop Boys, whose musical Closer to Heaven premièred in the West End in May.

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 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's David Sillito
"It takes us to the dark side of the pop world"
See also:

06 Apr 01 | Entertainment
George's glamour goes on
17 May 01 | Music
Fry gets romantic about the 80s
03 Aug 98 | Entertainment
Let's hear it once again for the Eighties
11 May 00 | Scotland
Souter and Boy George clash
16 Dec 99 | Entertainment
Boy George survives falling glitter ball
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