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A Hungarian Rhapsody, a legendary performance

As the movie, Bohemian Rhapsody is out in the cinemas worldwide, about the magnificient British rock band, Queen, – focusing on lead singer Freddie Mercury’s life leading up to Queen’s Live Aid performance at Wembley Stadium in 1985 – let’s remember to another magical moment happened just a year later, on July 27, 1986. As part of the hugely successful 1986 Magic Tour that, poignantly, was the last to be played by Freddie Mercury, Queen were for the first time able to include Hungary on the tour schedule.

With three years to go before the fall of the Berlin Wall, this was the largest concert ever staged at the Népstadion, Budapest, and the first Western Rock Concert staged in a stadium behind the then Iron Curtain. It was of such significance to the Hungarian authorities and film industry that a group of the country’s top film cameramen and technicians were brought together to film it for posterity.

Staged for 80,000 ecstatic fans, the concert set includes favourite hits like Bohemian Rhapsody, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, I Want To Break Free and We Are The Champions. The resulting concert movie has been digitally re-mastered for the big screen and is introduced by a documentary feature that gives the inside track on events leading up to the Budapest concert. Using archive footage from rehearsals, interviews with the band and on the road during the Magic Tour – some of which has never been seen before – this fascinating intro feature has been specially created for the cinema release.

 

Cover photo: fesenko/123rf.com, extracts: the British Council

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