Queen musical We Will Rock You comes to the Liverpool Empire this autumn, and, like Anchorman Ron Burgundy himself, is kind of a big deal. The PR machine has been grinding away for some time now, but it’s about to launch its biggest stunt to date by plonking a giant statue of Freddie Mercury right in the centre of town.
From Friday, a 15ft statue – a touring twin of the one that can be found in the West End – will be on display in Liverpool One (around the Paradise Street area), although the show won’t be here until September.
For more than eight years, the original giant Freddie has been standing in front of the Dominion Theatre in London. Weighing 680kg, the statue has, apparently, become a theatreland landmark and an important part of the We Will Rock You production, attracting thousands of fans and tourists. But up here in Liverpool – where the big Queen man will reside until June – the Empire’s canopy cannot house him in a similar way, as he’s simply too big and heavy. So after an appeal to ‘find Freddie a home’, various city organisations stepped in offering to put him up. (Literally! Put him up!). Cue the quotes:
Andrew Rawlinson from the Liverpool Empire said: “We can’t wait for giant Freddie to kick off the countdown to We Will Rock You.” Chris Bliss, estate director at Liverpool One added: “We’re delighted to welcome giant Freddie. The statue is iconic and we’re sure shoppers and visitors to Liverpool One will be thrilled to see him here in the city centre.”
For an idea of just how thrilled we’ll be, check out this rather good gallery of pics from Stufish, showing just how tricky it is getting giant Freddie to do what he’s told.