Members of the West Sussex Youth Choir enjoyed the opportunity of lifetime tonight (Thursday), joining Queen legend Brian May and acclaimed singing star Kerry Ellis on their Born Free tour.
The 26 youngsters appeared on the Hawth Theatre stage to sing three songs with the stars.
After a few songs and solos by Brian and Kerry, the choir came on to stage to help sing the emotional and poignant No-one But You - a song Brian May wrote for Freddie Mercury.
They also helped choreograph the audience in the stomping and clamping for the crowd-pleaser We Will Rock You.
And in for their final number they joined Kerry in singing a beautiful version of In the Bleak Midwinter.
This was one of 11 tour dates Brian and Kerry have embarked on.
These special intimate concerts provide a chance to see Ellis and May close-up, and are being especially performed to raise awareness of the work of the Born Free Foundation, the global organisation which works to protect and conserve threatened species, particularly Africa’s magnificent Lions, which across much of Africa, are now in serious decline.
The evening was very informal and a world away from the days when Queen would perform in front of thousands of people in Wembley.
In those days it was Freddie who was the showman and extrovert. But seeing Brian May sitting on a stool playing guitar in candlelight was just as mesmerising.
And his incredible guitar playing was more than complemented by Kerry Ellis’ incredible voice.
Kerry’s most famous West End role was Elphaba in Wicked and she got to sing I’m Not That Girl solo in a quieter part of the evening.
Other highlights included Kerry’s rendition of The Way We Were, Brian’s solo section, Somebody to Love and, of course, Born Free.
However, it was the 26 Sussex youngsters who helped steal the show and raise the roof when they joined in with the aforementioned No-one But You. A truly wonderful song, sung truly wonderfully.