Ben Elton Live: Theatre Royal, Hanley, 1987
Ben Elton Live: The Sands Centre, Carlisle, 1989
Musical: We Will Rock You: The Phoenix Theatre, London, 2023
I saw Ben Elton twice live in the eighties. The comedian, author, playwright and director who co-wrote the classic comedy series The Young Ones and Blackadder and presenter of cult Channel 4 hit Saturday Night Live performed at Hanley in 1987 and Carlisle in 1989. The difference between the two performances was the subject matter. Elton was a master at quickly working out what the audience laughed at most and at Hanley in Stoke-on-Trent where I took a Higher National Diploma in Business and Finance, the main subject was student life. In Carlisle, the main subject was relationships and sex. Elton immediately connected and related with his audiences and the material was unique. He performed on both occasions for well over two hours and the audiences were exhausted from laughing.
Almost forty years later, in August 2023, I watched the musical We Will Rock You. Taking over the London Coliseum for a summer residence, this smash hit musical, featuring the songs of the legendary rock group Queen, starred writer, and director Elton. The story centres around a group of Bohemians who struggle to re-establish the freedom of fashion, thought, and live music in a distant future where everyone acts, dresses and thinks the same. The plot was very complicated and confusing, and the show is for die-hard Queen fans only.