Reviewed by Emma Booth
I took my daughter to The Hawth theatre in Crawley on Friday night (1 November 2019) to Sing-a-long-a Bohemian Rhapsody. This was our first time to a sing-a-long-a show so wasn’t really sure how it worked, but basically there is a live host who starts off getting everyone in the party mood with some singing and a fancy dress competition for anyone who is come dressed up with the winner receiving a bottle of alcohol. Our host then talked us through the prop bag that everyone was given on the way in. The prop bag contained a glow stick, rice paper moustache, paper hat and a tissue, everything you need to be a great Freddie Mercury of the rock band Queen.
The host was great fun and encouraged everyone to get up and dance, boo and cheer and get fully involved throughout the film. The host explained that the film, Bohemian Rhapsody, doesn’t actually play the entire song in the film so we were treated to the official full-length six-minute-long original song of Bohemian Rhapsody, which was amazing with everyone singing along, it gave me goosebumps. So after about half an hour of fun and games the film began.
Bohemian Rhapsody is a biographical drama about Freddie Mercury, who was the lead singer of Queen, a rock band in the 70s. The film tells the story from when the band first met and tells a story that not many people knew, it tells of the ups in Freddie’s life – like meeting the lovely Mary Austin who become a lifelong friend and also the downs when his life was full of drink and drug abuse. For me, the film was breath-taking and filled with so many Queen classics, but I also loved to see the glimpse into the life of Freddie and felt sad to see he was never happy with himself not realising just how great and loved he was. This is the sort what film you could watch again and again and still get shivers down your spine.
Rami Malek does an unforgettable portrayal of Freddie and really catches his flamboyant characteristics, I think watching the film in the theatre surrounded by people singing and clapping cheering and booing adds a real atmosphere where are you can’t help but get up and join in without feeling self-conscious, you can’t help but sing along and with the words on the screen you’ve got no excuse not to.
I’ve never been to a sing-a-long before but thoroughly enjoyed it and listening to other people, everyone felt the same. The film is a 12A, meaning under 12’s can come to see this is occupied by an adult, although some bits might not be suitable for under 12‘s. My daughter is a bit under 12 but absolutely had a fantastic time, apart from a bit of bad language there wasn’t anything I thought was particularly unsuitable for someone her age. The show had an interview in the middle, being a film I wasn’t sure if it just ran right through, but it was good to stop and grab the usual interval ice cream and a drink all ready to watch the rest.
Now the best bit by far is the Live Aid scene, I went home and watched the original Live Aid show and the scenes have been recreated with such care and were really spot-on, it’s utterly breath-taking. We both enjoyed every minute of the sing-a-long, would definitely go again and would recommend to anyone who enjoys a fun night out.
As always I found the staff at The Hawth very helpful and friendly and loved the relaxed atmosphere here. The theatre is easy to find and plenty of ample free parking. They always have such a varied variety of shows, there’s always something for everyone, so this is a perfect theatre to visit.
Sing-a-long-a Bohemian Rhapsody is currently touring the UK, for more information and tour dates visit www.singalonga.net/bohemian-rhapsody.
For other shows at The Hawth in Crawley visit hawth.co.uk or call the box office on 01293 553636.
The Hawth, Hawth Avenue, Crawley, Sussex, RH10 6YZ | 01293 553636