It’s ready, steady… Freddie for Kenilworth singer

Kenilworth singer Warren Vernon-Driscoll portrays the legendary Freddie Mercury in Queen: It’s Kind of Magic.

Kenilworth singer Warren Vernon-Driscoll is ready to rock as the late, great Freddie Mercury in a Queen tribute show.

Queen: It’s Kind of Magic is on for one night only at GrandWest’s Grand Arena on Saturday December 9.

Vernon-Driscoll, 31, will be joined on stage by Rusty Red, doing his best impression of Brian May as lead guitarist, while Michael Dickens is on drums and Andrew van der Merwe is on bass guitar.

Expect to hear some of Queen’s greatest hits: We Will Rock You, We Are the Champions, Radio GaGa, I Want to Break Free, Somebody to Love, Don’t Stop Me Now, Another One Bites the Dust, A Kind of Magic, Bohemian Rhapsody and many more.

Vernon-Driscoll, a Queen fan since childhood, says he gives his own take on the British pop group’s iconic singer.

“There is only ever going to be one Freddie Mercury. I’m not British, I’m South African, so will talk in my own accent. I will relate to him in the amount of energy he puts on stage, use the mannerisms he portray and singing the songs in the right key.

“I have to add a little bit of myself as an artist on stage as well.”

Originally from Hilton in KwaZulu-Natal, Vernon-Driscoll has been singing from a young age. As part of the Drakensberg Boys Choir School, he toured America, China, Taiwan and Austria. He studied a classical music course at the South African College of Music at UCT.

Vernon-Driscoll joined this production in 2019. While shows were limited during the pandemic, he was able to perform in Australia and New Zealand. Last year, September was the first time he got to perform with this production in front of a South African audience.

“I love performing in South Africa,” he says. “I wish I can perform in my country more. Last year, Cape Town was a highlight performing with this show.“

What makes being part of the Queen: It’s Kind of Magic even more special for Vernon-Driscoll is that he will get to share the stage with Red, whom he performed with during his high school years at Kearsney College in Pietermaritzburg, while he knows Michael Dickens from his Drakensberg Boys Choir School days.

“It’s nice performing in a band where we know each other well, and when you are on stage and things go wrong, you are able to rely on your band members that you know well.”

Queen: It’s Kind of Magic has toured Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Zimbabwe, and Vernon-Driscoll says they will be in Australia again ahead of New Year’s Eve.

Tickets can be booked at itickets.co.za from R335 per person. Doors will open at 7pm, and the show will start at 8pm.