Queen’s Brian May will bring the 2012 Whatsonstage.com Awards to a rock ‘n’ roll conclusion when he performs the finale of the Awards Concert.

 

Queen’s Brian May will bring the 2012 Whatsonstage.com Awards to a rock ‘n’ roll conclusion when he performs the finale of the Awards Concert.

The guitar legend will be appearing alongside ‘West End diva’ Kerry Ellis (pictured right), who has been nominated in the 2012 Whatsonstage.com Awards for Best Solo Performance for Anthems, a show arranged and produced by May as a showcase for Ellis’ talents.

Brian May said at the announcement yesterday, “I’m very happy to be coming along to make some noise with Kerry Ellis at the Whatsonstage.com Awards. We will be celebrating Whatsonstage.com’s 15th birthday, and Kerry’s nomination for a gong for our Albert Hall show – Anthems – last May. We’ll be performing a song from that show.”

Anthems premiered at the Royal Albert Hall last spring prior to a UK tour. Both May and Ellis have enjoyed previous success at the Whatsonstage.com Awards. In the 2003 Awards, which pre-dated the introduction of the now-annual Awards Concert, Queen musical We Will Rock You, which May also co-produces, won five prizes, including Best New Musical. At a special performance of We Will Rock You, the Whatsonstage.com trophies were presented to May, Roger Taylor and the musical’s original cast, which included Kerry Ellis.

Following her breakthrough playing Meat in We Will Rock You, Ellis went on to huge West End success as Elphaba in Wicked – for which she won Best Takeover in a Role in the 2008 Whatsonstage.com Awards – and Nancy in Oliver! at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

Anthems: The Concert was born out of the album of the same name, which May and Ellis also collaborated on. According to May: “From the moment I first heard Kerry sing, I was entranced, and felt the conviction that I would one day make an album for her. That conviction never left me. The hard thing was to find the right medium to harness that amazing voice – the material and arrangements had to be worthy, and a musical style evolved to capture her unique magic.” He describes what they’ve created as “a new form of music – a kind of anthemic-orchestral-rock-musical-theatre fusion.”

The Whatsonstage.com Awards, now in their 12th year, are the only major UK theatre awards decided across the board by the public. This year, more than 70,000 theatregoers took part in the voting, which concluded on 31st of January. The gong show takes place on Sunday the 19th of February 2012 at London’s Prince of Wales Theatre in the heart of the West End. More details from the Prince of Wales box office on 0844 482 5133.

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