Is This the Real Life? Is This Just Fantasy?

Is This the Real Life? Is This Just Fantasy?

We were planning to see Bohemian Rhapsody, the new Freddie Mercury biopic. But the reviews have been decidedly mixed, despite Rami Malek’s astonishing portrayal as the Queen of Queen. It’s been said that, as producers of the film, the surviving members of the band all come across as a bit too saintly. Of course, they’re not saints. Nobody is. And Freddie’s sexuality has been sanitised, presumably to appeal to the widest international audience possible. Freddie’s excesses are well-documented. His AIDS-related death was awful and, for me, profoundly affecting. I remember it all too well. I once saw Freddie at a gay club back in the day, surrounded by his acolytes. There was nothing ambiguous about Freddie. So we decided to give the film a miss to avoid the disappointment. Instead, we lunched at Bishop’s, one of Norwich best indie restaurants. The meal was courtesy of the staff at the village surgery where Liam earns an honest crust. We’d already had our joint birthday treat at the newly opened Ivy Brasserie. But you can never have too many birthday treats, can you?

Gorillas in Our Midst

Gorillas in Our Midst

Gorillas

We got back from holiday to face an invasion of psychedelic gorillas. I thought someone had slipped some acid in my gin and I was tripping the light fantastic. Don’t fret, I haven’t taken to class A drugs and mugging old Norfolk broads to feed a nasty habit. Not yet anyway.

Looking like the camp cast of ‘Planet of the Apes, the Panto,’ these unique and rather fabulous specimens of street art form the 53-strong gorilla trail around the city organised by the ‘Go Go Gorilla’ campaign. According to their website the trail will…

“… take place for 10 weeks during the summer of 2013 and will encourage thousands of people to discover and re-discover the city of Norwich, provide community and education projects and highlight environmental issues and the plight of one of the world’s most endangered species.”

At the end of the exhibition, the multi-coloured silverbacks will be auctioned off for charity. Bid early to avoid disappointment. Remember, a Guy’s for life, not just for Christmas (so says Liam). It certainly knocks spots off a naff garden gnome, not to mention the pushy teenagers in the street gripping clip boards to extract direct debits for the World Wildlife Fund.

Here’s a small selection:

The Go Go Gorilla campaign got into a bit of hot water with the Freddie Mercury estate when one of the exhibits aped the late great Queen showman in his cloney stage clobber. Breach of copyright, apparently. It was removed from the forecourt of the Forum – to be repainted. Boo, hiss. Unlike the stuffy suits running his estate, I’m reliably informed that Mr Mercury had a wicked sense of humour and a charitable bent.

Freddie

I rather hoped that Freddie the Gorilla would be resurrected in full drag as a tribute to the ‘I Want to Break Free’ video. Sadly, it was not to be. Freddie was reinstated today, sprayed black and minus his tash, crop top and signature buck teeth. So now it’s just any old primate in a Queen jacket. Still, all the fuss gave the campaign a bit of a boost and got them on the BBC.

Here’s my personal favourite, a mean-looking bugger with a strangely benign face. He’s less adorned than the others with just a light dusting of glitter sparkling away in the sun. Clearly, this Guy is not afraid of his feminine side. Or perhaps Guy’s really a Gal?

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