A rock legend cast in bronze has joined the Black Prince, James Watt and Dr Walter Hook in Leeds’s City Square.
In fact, a 16ft incarnation of Freddie Mercury has dwarfed monuments of Leeds’s great and good, and he’s set to stay until October 28.
The statue of the Queen frontman, which weighs in at 680kg and took eight men to install, is visiting the city before Queen musical We Will Rock You enjoys a month-long stint at Leeds Grand Theatre.
Ian Reddington, who plays a character named Pop in the show, said: “You’re already doing it in Leeds, you’re already trumpeting and shouting about your triumphs and this show will definitely be a triumph.”
The massive production, which has had input from Mercury’s Queen bandmates Brian May and Roger Taylor, will run at the theatre, in New Briggate, from November 1 to 26.
Reddington, who played Vernon Tomlin in Coronation Street, said: “When I look out in that audience there are young kids.
“For a start I don’t know how they know the lyrics, they all know the words to Bohemian Rhapsody.”
“I think their parents are just playing Queen in the kitchen and the kids are picking up on all those songs.”
Marking 20 years since the singer’s death, and nearly 40 years after Queen filled Elland Road Stadium with over 40,000 fans, We Will Rock You is set to bring 24 Queen tracks back to the city.
Reddington said: “I don’t think Queen have ever gone away.
“This show has been on for 10 years and it’s just won an Olivier Award, voted for by audiences, so the passion is still there.”
The show’s plot, written by Ben Elton, follows the Bohemians, a group of rebels who believe that there was once a golden age of music called The Rhapsody.
They go in search of Galileo, a hero who will lead them there but if the authorities get to him first they will consign him to Oblivion.
A spokeswoman for the show said: “Queen fans love it, everyone from kids upwards loves it. Their music spans generations.
“It’s easy to forget how many great songs there are, it’s just non-stop.”
Tickets cost between £23.50 and £42.50 and are available at www.leedsgrandtheatre.com or by calling 0844 8482705.