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Brian May and Kerry Ellis in Leeds and Manchester

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by Andy Coleman (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Birmingham. I like Classic Rock, 70s pop music, football and interviewing celebrities. Follow me on Twitter: @andycoleman9
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Queen by candlelight, anyone?
Queen guitarist Brian May and musical theatre star Kerry Ellis are giving their fans a pre-Christmas treat with a UK tour that visits Leeds on December 12 and Manchester on December 14.

Their Candlelit Christmas Tour kicks off on December 7 in Dorking, with the final date on December 23 in Guildford. The concerts mark the pair's sixth tour together since their first Anthems shows in 2011, performed on the release of Kerry's first album, produced by Brian.

Brian May, Kerry Ellis, Queen, Christmas Candlelight Tour, Leeds Grand Theatre, Manchester Bridgewater Hall, Anthems, Musical Theatre
Anthems: Brian May on stage with Kerry Ellis


During the summer Brian has been performing with Adam Lambert and Queen, while Kerry has been preparing for her starring role in the first run of the Off-Broadway hit Murder Ballad at London's Arts Theatre. It will add to her growing list of successful headlining roles, including Oliver!, My Fair Lady, Miss Saigon, Les Misérables, Cats, and of course We Will Rock You in 2002, which was when Kerry's studio work with Brian producing began.

Brian May, Kerry Ellis, Adam Lambert, Queen, Christmas Candlelight Tour, Leeds Grand Theatre, Manchester Bridgewater Hall, Anthems, Musical Theatre
Queen: Brian May performing with Adam Lambert


The Christmas concert tour will feature new songs from the forthcoming album Anthems II, which the pair have been working on for the last year. There will also be versions of Brian and Kerry's favourite songs, a few Queen tunes revisited and material dedicated to awareness of wild animals, in tune with the passion for conservation that Brian and Kerry share.

Kerry says: "Our show is definitely an experience; we like to move people and take them on our personal journey - and we have a lot of fun. Brian always comes up with great stories to explain our choice of songs, and among them a lot of hidden gems that people have never heard before. We like to think it's a very unique and special evening."

Brian May, Kerry Ellis, Adam Lambert, Queen, Christmas Candlelight Tour, Leeds Grand Theatre, Manchester Bridgewater Hall, Anthems, Musical Theatre


Brian adds: "The show is largely acoustic and usually performed by candlelight. It's very loose and interactive. In contrast to the bombast of a Queen show, our relationship with the audience is very informal – truly live and spontaneous. This is now my favourite way of performing; it's a lot of fun and anything can happen. It takes some courage, but we believe our audience loves the fact that we take the risk to run the show completely 'wild'. No clicks, no loops, no clutter. It's fundamentally just a voice and a guitar."

Brian and Kerry first got to know one another when Kerry created the role of Meat in Queen's record-breaking rock musical We Will Rock You. They have developed their own special musical chemistry as a partnership for over 13 years, both in the studio and in live performances. Their joint album releases include Anthems and The Candlelight Concerts and among their singles are a rock arrangement of Born Free, the self-penned The Kissing Me Song, Ruth Moody's One Voice and a new version of Amazing Grace. They have performed high profile one-off performances at the Royal Variety Show, the BBC Proms, The Night of a 1000 Voices, the Remembrance Day concert at the Royal Albert Hall, the Montreux Jazz Festival, Italy's San Remo Festival and a cross-over opera show in the Arena di Verona.

Brian May, Kerry Ellis, Adam Lambert, Queen, Christmas Candlelight Tour, Leeds Grand Theatre, Manchester Bridgewater Hall, Anthems, Musical Theatre
2011: Anthems Tour poster


Kerry says: "It's always a joy to be able to perform live with the 'Doc' and this time will be as magical as ever. We seem to always be developing and bringing new ideas to the table. Alongside performing and recording we are still learning and for me that's the exciting part. I feel very fortunate to be doing another tour together and sharing yet another show with our audiences."

Brian concludes: "Although life has taken us both into so many new areas recently, live music is still what makes us tick – the greatest joy. And Ms Ellis is the perfect fellow band member! I'm grateful for the opportunity we have to bring this show to an even wider audience. I'm already working on hardening up the finger ends!''

Brian May and Kerry Ellis UK Candlelit Christmas Tour December 2016:

Dec 7: Dorking Halls;
Dec 8: Worthing Assembly Hall;
Dec 11: Buxton Opera House;
Dec 12: Leeds Grand Theatre;
Dec 14: Manchester Bridgewater Hall;
Dec 15: Preston Guildhall;
Dec 17: Coventry Warwick Arts Centre;
Dec 19: Cheltenham Town Hall;
Dec 20: Bristol Colston Hall;
Dec 22: Eastbourne Congress Theatre;
Dec 23: Guildford G Live.
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Why? Rock royalty Brian May teams up with Theatre Queen Kerry Ellis
When: Touring from December 7, 2016
Phone: 0844 848 2700 (Leeds); 0161 907 9000 (Manchetser)
Where: Leeds Grand Theatre, Manchester Bridgewater Hall, and touring
Cost: £45 plus fees
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