Queen's Brian May and Kerry Ellis Reunite for Born Free U.K. Acoustic Tour
By Mark Shenton
Queen guitarist Brian May and West End singer Kerry Ellis will reunite onstage for the Born Free tour, a series of 11 intimate and acoustic shows performed under candlelight beginning Nov. 5 at The Apex in Bury St. Edmunds.
They will then continue to Leamington Spa, Corby, Tunbridge Wells, Brighton, London, St Alban's, Crawley, Portsmouth, Salisbury and High Wycombe.
According to press materials, the informal evenings will see them performing a new collection of their personal favorite songs as well as new arrangements of some of those they have previously performed in concert and recorded together, sung by Ellis with May accompanying her on both guitar and vocals.
Ellis, who starred in the original production of We Will Rock You, has since played Elphaba both in the West End and on Broadway. She has previously appeared with May in larger spaces on their Anthems tour, including London's Royal Albert Hall.
This concert series affords audiences a chance to see them close-up, and are being performed to raise awareness of the work of the Born Free Foundation, the global organization which works to protect and conserve threatened species, particularly Africa's magnificent Lions, which are now in serious decline across much of Africa.
It follows a new recording made by May and Ellis of the Oscar-winning song "Born Free" from the film of the same name. Invited by Virginia McKenna's Born Free Foundation to view and participate in its work at the Shamwari game reserve and rescue centre in South Africa's Eastern Cape, May and Ellis have pledged to support Born Free both publicly and materially. Having recorded both a large-scale production version and an acoustic version of "Born Free," both versions will be released on one single, with all proceeds going to the Foundation.
In a press statement, May commented, "Over the last year, Kerry and I have been recording new material when our schedules have allowed it. As on the 'Anthems' album, some of the tracks have very big and splendid arrangements, but we have become more and more fascinated with the magic of great songs stripped down to their core and re-interpreted in an 'acoustic' way. We find there is a purity which makes the songs speak very clearly. Kerry's instincts as an interpreter of songs are always inspiring, and the art of arranging has always been one of my obsessions. We have found that the two of us just working live off each other can distill the very essence of a song - and that's what we hope to bring you in these dates. After all, if you have great songs and a great singer, what more do you need? Well, maybe just a little bit of guitar!"
To book tickets for the tour, call 0844 758 758, or visit www.ticketzone.co.uk.
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