The stage is split into two by a large microphone on a stick. It is the mid-Sixties......
To left, a
student bedsit. Here sits trainee astronomer Brian May, wearing a white coat
and pretending his telescope is a guitar, while aspiring dentist Roger Taylor
drums with two dental probes on the bedside table.
To right, a school hall in Zanzibar where young Farookh Bulsara is picking out a tune on the piano, alternating high and low notes.
Farookh: (high voice) Galileo! (low voice) Galileo! Can you do the flamenco ... the foxtrot ... the Gay Gordons ... (tails off in frustration).
Voice Off: Farookh, The bicycle races are about to start. And there are some fat-bottomed girls taking part!
Farookh: (thoughtful) Hmmm...
Lights up on Brian and Roger.
Brian: I'm bored with astronomy, Rog. Let's form another band. We can play power anthems, so we'll need a butch name. Prong? Stud? Probe ?
Roger: Too right, Bri. We'll probably need an exhibitionist front man though, what with my girlish good looks being hidden behind the drums, and you being such a miserable sod. (Brian May looks miserable)
Lights up on Farookh.
Farookh: (plinking on keys) I see a little silhouette-o of a cat ... a dog ... a banana ... (reels away from the piano, angrily). This is hopeless! Oooh, how I want to break free. But whoever heard of a rock star called Farookh Bulsara? (slams shut piano lid: A portrait of Frederick the Great and a large thermometer fall to the floor and smash. Farookh stares at the shattered remains.) That's it! I'll become... the Great Thermometer!
The scene changes to a record company office at the beginning of the Seventies. The three men are sitting on chairs, sipping from mugs.
Freddie Mercury (for it is now he): ... so, I've written this 17-minute song called Bohemian Raspberry... (Brian May looks miserable).
Roger: That's great! And how about a song called We Will Rock You, which will just be drums and you singing... (Brian May looks miserable).
Freddie: ... and I thought we'd change the name of the band to Queen ... (Brian May looks miserable).
Roger: Ha ha, you crazy little thing! But hey, we'll need a fourth member to make up the numbers. You know, someone who won't detract from the charismatic singer, or the impossibly pretty blonde drummer, or the miserable-git, poodle-haired guitarist... (Brian May looks miserable).
Enter a janitor with a beaky nose and mad hair pushing a broom.
Roger: Oi! You! What's your name?
John Deacon (for it is he): John Deacon.
Roger: You'll do! (Brian May looks miserable).
Backstage before Queen's first big gig. Brian looks miserable. Freddie is prancing up and down in his underwear. John is quietly polishing the floor. Roger is finishing an anecdote.
Roger: ... no, no, don't stop me now. So, anyway, I'm having such a good time, I'm having a ball, the radio's on but it's completely ga-ga ...
Zandra Rhodes (for it is she): (handing out bell-sleeved, bat-winged smocks in white and silver) What do you think of these?
Freddie: Fantastic. (punches the air) We are the champions!
Brian: I think they're too flash, I tell you. Flash! Aah-aaaaargh! (Throws costume on the floor and storms out).
Zandra: Another one bites the dust.
Freddie: But if we can't wear these, I'll have to go on in my underwear. (gestures to stripy long johns and chest-revealing singlet. Takes a sip of cappuccino, which leaves a dark froth "moustache" on his upper lip).
Queen on stage at Wembley. Fireworks go off, fat-bottomed girls on bicycles, a Flash Gordon spaceship zooms above, and Freddie is well into his rendition of Bohemian Raspberry.
Freddie: Is this a fruit knife? Is this just cutlery? Caught in a fruitbowl, no escape from the raspberry. Open your mind, peel off the rind and se-e-e-e. I'm just a paw-paw. I need no orangery. Because I'm easy peel, easy-squeeze, and I grow up on the trees. If you spit my pips out, doesn't really matter to mee-ee ...
Roger: (whispering to Brian) Still not sure about these lyrics. Or the title. (Brian May looks miserable).
Freddie: ... I see a little silhouette-o of a grape. Scaramouche! Scaramouche! Can you make a fruit salad! Melon balls and trifle, have you got an eyeful of ME. (high voice) Galileo! (low voice) Galileo!
Brian: (looking miserable) God save us!
The curtain comes down. Freddie puts it on. Blackout
By Nick Curtis
Source: Hot Ticket, March 12th 2001