9 April 1986 – Dave Clark’s “Time” musical premiered at the Dominion Theatre, London, starring Cliff Richard and Sir Laurence Olivier.
The world premiere of the “Time” musical is held at the Dominion Theatre in London where it ran for two years. ‘Time’ featured two tracks (‘In My Defence’ and ‘Time’) which Freddie Mercury recorded, and were included on the cast album. However, he did not appear in the musical itself, except at a special charity performance on 14 April 1988 in which he did perform a duet with Cliff Richard.
Dave Clark had offered Freddie the lead role of the rock star, Chris Wilder in his musical but he declined, and Cliff Richard took the part instead.
Apparently, Cliff being a star for such a long time, was not happy that Freddie was getting first choice in the tracks for the musical arrangements. When he heard Freddie’s version of “In My Defence”, his jaw dropped to the floor and the whole song had to be changed for Cliff to be able to sing it, as it was far too high for him. After this, he never stopped praising Freddie.
“Freddie was a huge Cliff fan. He was very respectful of Cliff’s position and especially his starring role in the show ‘Time’ and never tried to compete. I know he loved being a part of the project.” ~ Mike Moran
Here’s a sweet story:
Freddie decided he wanted to sell ice creams during the interval. ‘I did try and point out it wasn’t one of his better ideas,’ said Joe Fanelli. ‘Especially as he wouldn’t have a clue what a pound coin looked like, so how on earth was he going to make sure the people paid the right price and were given the right change?’
Freddie’s solution was simple, ‘I bought the whole lot, so I wouldn’t have to charge anyone anything, he said. So, Freddie donned a white coat, took his tray of ice creams and walked out into the audience. At first no one had a clue who he was and he happily wandered around, handing out the ices.
Then he got bored and began to throw them: ‘He was hurling ice lollies and tubs and Cornettos (drumstick style cones) all over the place, continued Joe. They were landing in people’s laps, on their heads, it was chaos. Some people even threw them back!’
When the supply exhausted, Freddie retired backstage, to a thunderous applause, as by now almost everyone in the theatre realised who he was. ‘Freddie Mercury was just giving us ice creams!’
Freddie is just too funny. He loved being included and most importantly, giving to others and making sure everyone had a good time.0