“It’s a bit like with Les Mis,” Ian says. “It took me 25 years to go and see it and now I think it is brilliant.”
And so with We Will Rock You, the Queen musical with which he tours to Southampton’s Mayflower from April 20 to May 28 for a rocking six-week run before continuing around the country.
“We Will Rock You is in its tenth year. I never saw it before I was asked to see it. I just wasn’t a Queen fan. It just wasn’t something that attracted me. But having been in it, I am now absolutely a Queen fan.
“I think you just forget how powerful the music is. You get so used to hearing it on the radio while you are doing something else. You just think it is pop and you don’t really concentrate, but then when you actually listen, you realise what fantastic music it is. A lot of it is very rousing. And you forget how different it was as well. There are some really quite quiet ballads in there.”
To an extent, We Will Rock You is a “shoehorn musical” Ian says, given that the music came first and the story was written around it.
“But the writer was Ben Elton and that’s an asset. It’s fun and Ben Elton has managed to get his political points in as well.
“It’s set in the future when music has been proscribed and all instruments banned. All music is computer generated. On this planet that we now live there is an underbelly of rebels and outcasts that are still searching for music. They go on a journey. They find little signs. They find of old posters and hints about what music was and could be in the future. Eventually they find the Holy Grail. It’s hilarious. Now you now what preposterous means!
“But my character is a wise old sage that they find along the way. I am now doing character parts! I have grown a beard with grey in it! There are 30 young kids throwing themselves about. I throw a few shapes too, and I sing a beautiful number called The Days Of Our Lives, which is great, a really lovely ballad that fits in very well.”
Tickets on 02380 711811.