Gig Preview: Bohemian Rhapsody - The Hits Of Queen

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FIRST came Queen. Then came the musical We Will Rock You. Hardly surprising, then, that Bohemian Rhapsody - The Hits Of Queen, the show that rocks into the Playhouse tonight, has been described as a tribute show to a tribute show.

However, TV reality star Nathan James insists it’s much more than just that.

“It’s non-stop Queen hits, performed by a live band, six singers and six raunchy dancers,” says the 24-year-old, who made his name on the ITV reality show Superstar.

“It’s flamboyant, fun and a great night out with big production numbers and lots of lights and stuff.

“It’s much more like a rock concert than the other Queen shows that come around and it’s definitely not a musical.”

The Superstar finalist, who wowed Lord Lloyd Webber on the prime time show with his stunning rock voice, is set to blow the roof off the Greenside Place venue this week, as the spectacular celebration of the works of Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon tours to the Capital.

Featuring an chorus of incredible dancers, singers and a powerful rock band, the show boasts all Queen’s biggest hits and classic anthems.

“I’m a huge Queen fan, that was the first draw for me,” he says. “But then the producer said that I could have a say in casting it - I got to basically pick who I was in the show with! That has been amazing.

“And the one thing that all the reviews have said is that the cast, as a whole, is very strong. That makes me very proud.”

It’s well documented that James, who loves being on the road, found the whole reality TV experience a double-edged sword, publicly clashing with Lord Lloyd Webber. Looking back, he recalls the pressure of working on a show like Superstar.

“I don’t want to do any more TV because the pressure kind of takes all the fun out of it,” he says. “You’re constantly on edge, whereas this is just me having fun, singing and being on stage with my mates.

“But I learnt so much from the whole TV experience, so I don’t regret it. There was just so much pressure and I gained a lot of respect for everyone who does those shows.”

Despite his love of all things Queen - Freddie Mercury is his hero - the suggestion that James might one day star in the hit West End musical We Will Rock You is met with a resounding ‘No’.

“I’ve seen the show, and I really enjoy watching it, but I don’t think the story makes any sense, it’s just a bit weird, whereas this show just gives you the songs.

“I never really wanted to do musical theatre. The only reason I did Superstar was because I loved Jesus Christ Superstar.

“Bohemian Rhapsody is definitely more ‘me’. It’s perfect and I can not wait to get back to Edinburgh. I love it there. It’s one of my favourite cities. I did Thriller Live there, so know the city very well and I think people there are going to love this show.”

Bohemian Rhapsody, Playhouse, Greenside Place, Tuesday-Saturday, 7.30pm (matinees 2.30pm), £11.90-£35.40, 0844-871 3014