LONDON—For legendary Queen guitarist and song-writer Brian May, Shen Yun was an “enchanting” evening.
May attended the performance on April 30 with his wife, actress Anita Dobson, at the Eventim Apollo in London.
The tickets were reportedly a birthday gift from May to Dobson, who turned 70 on April 29.
May is world famous as lead guitarist of Queen, a band he formed with lead singer Freddie Mercury and drummer Roger Taylor in 1970. They went on to have numerous top 10 singles and played at some of the biggest venues in the world.
In February, May attended the 91st Academy Awards in Los Angeles, playing music featured in the Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody,” a film that went on to win four Oscars.
There, too, May was accompanied by Anita Dobson, who is most recognisable in the UK for playing the character of Angie in the long-running soap opera “EastEnders.”
But it was at the Eventim Apollo in 1975, then known as the Hammersmith Odeon, that Queen played what was to become one of their most important gigs, with May later stating in a press release that the “concert was very special because it was the first time we ever played a whole show completely live on TV.”
It was also the first time that the band’s global hit “Bohemian Rhapsody” was recorded live.
So for May, the Apollo is a notable venue to return to.
Seeing Shen Yun was “enchanting and enlightening,” May said in a statement following the performance.
He said: “Our Shen Yun evening was enchanting and enlightening! A whole new way to view the world!”
May and Dobson saw the penultimate performance of Shen Yun at the Apollo, before the company departed for Plymouth in the southwest UK.
The classical Chinese dance company is in the midst of its 2019 world tour, with six companies performing in over 130 cities across four continents.
May’s statement could refer to some of the stories presented in Shen Yun, which reveal China’s deeply-rooted belief system for modern audiences.
For thousands of years, Chinese people believed in the divine, as expressed through the teachings of Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. The values and ideas from such beliefs underpinned Chinese people’s thinking through generations, until they were denounced and removed by the Chinese communist regime in the 20th century.
May isn’t the first world famous attendee of Shen Yun.
In 2018, “The Hobbit” actor Martin Freeman saw Shen Yun in London, saying at the time that it was “very beautiful.”
And in 2011, Academy Award-winning actress Cate Blanchett saw the show in Sydney, saying: “It was an extraordinary experience for us and the children. The level of skill, but also the power of the archetypes and the narratives were startling.
“And of course it was exquisitely beautiful.”
With reporting by John Smithies.
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time and has covered audience reactions since the company’s inception in 2006.