FreddieNo review – Glastonbury Festival 2024

FreddieNo at Glastonbury Festival 2024. Photo: Charles Gervais, Both Hemispheres Photography.

FreddieNo begins his set without introduction, starting before anyone has realised as he emerges from behind a blue-covered counter that represents a piano or a workbench, depending on the moment. But he has soon warmed up the audience – on a slightly cool afternoon – with a clap and sing-a-long to Radio GaGa.

There is a loose premise to FreddieNo’s set. This is a man who is addicted to Queen (the rock band, not Camilla) and Freddie Mercury. We find him going about his work in ‘FreddieNo’s Restaurant’ as he emulates the iconic frontman in his day-to-day tasks. It’s a clever set-up as his chef whites transform into Mercury’s iconic Live Aid outfit as he engages us in a recreation of Mercury’s equally iconic vocal warm-up at the end.

FreddieNo’s menu offers assorted fruits, buttered brioche rolls and a roast dove – if FreddieNo can ever catch it. There’s plenty of lighthearted slapstick humour as FreddieNo tries and fails to capture his nemesis. He shines when he introduces crowd participation, welcoming a guest – plucked from the audience – to dine at the restaurant. He frequently undermines them with bait-and-switch moves.

There’s lots of irreverent miming as FreddieNo finds humour in the absurd. Mostly, he sticks to a storyline, even as the storyline becomes increasingly bizarre – as when FreddieNo inflates one of his dishwashing marigolds on his head using his nostrils, pumping and pumping to the beat of We Will Rock You. It’s a feat in itself as the marigold grows and grows until it meets its end with a well-time final pop. It gains a laugh, even if there is some bemusement about what it’s all about.

FreddieNo performed on A Little More Sensation at Glastonbury Festival 2024, running from 26 to 30 June

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