Brian May plays a surprise solo at We Will Rock You

The Queen virtuoso popped out of the floor of the London Coliseum to guest on ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

If anyone can save the world, it’s Sir Brian May. A gala performance of Ben Elton’s Queen musical, We Will Rock You, ended with a surprise on-stage appearance from May, who rose out of a trap-door in the stage to play the guitar solo on ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. 

Delivered during a powerhouse encore after a final battle to save iPlanet from the evil clutches of Killer Queen, the song is the kind of thing that always has the audience on their feet – May’s cameo here threatening to lift the roof off the London Coliseum. 

“Coming up in a cloud of smoke from a trap-door in the stage and delivering a live slice of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, when the whole packed auditorium has been dreaming of it happening the whole night, or so it seems, has got to be just about the greatest gift any guitar player could have,” May said on his own Instagram account, calling himself “the icing on a magnificent cake”. 

No stranger to blockbuster cameos (or awkward safety harnesses), May once popped up on the roof of Buckingham Palace to play ‘God Save The Queen’ during the 2002 Golden Jubilee. 

“The shot of adrenaline it gives me is massive – literally knocking the breath out of me,” he went on. “Partly because it has to be timed to a fraction of a second, and if anything gets stuck or misplaced I could look very silly… Not quite so terrifying as playing live on the roof of Buckingham Palace to an audience of half a billion – but not far off. I guess I must be an adrenaline junkie after all!”

We Will Rock You is back in London after nearly a decade away – now playing the Coliseum for a special 12-week run featuring an on-stage performance by the show’s writer, Ben Elton. 

During the show’s initial run from 2002 to 2014, the huge gold statue of Freddie Mercury became something of a London landmark atop the Dominion Theatre in Tottenham Court Road. With the original metal Freddie now sitting in Queen drummer Roger Taylor’s back garden, a new monolith has been hoisted into place at the London Coliseum. 

We Will Rock You runs until August 27, Ben Elton will not be appearing on July 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 and August 7, 14 and 21. Sir Brian May is not scheduled to make another appearance in the show, but keep an eye on that trap-door…

Find tickets for We Will Rock You here.