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Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody Gives Chelsea Pensioners 'A Good Time'

Forces entertainment favourite CSE put on a 5th show for the Chelsea Pensioners with mowtown, swing and a little bit of Freddie Mercury.

The Chelsea Pensioners enjoyed a sparkling CSE show with a performance from Queen tribute band Queen II, who played all the classics including Bohemian Rhapsody, We are the Champions, Don’t Stop Me Now and We Will Rock You.

The music of Queen was a popular choice with the pensioners. The show came ahead of the recently released Bohemian Rhapsody movie.

During rehearsals, one pensioner shared memories of regularly driving Freddie Mercury around in his black cab after he left the Army and had the cast enthralled by his stories. 

The Estrellas and Lewis Sings Swing also performed to great acclaim and delighted the audience.

CSE tipped up at the Royal Hospital Chelsea on a rainy autumn day, armed with a heavy production artillery, including stage, truss, full PA and lighting rig.

CSE compere and comedian John Ryan held the bill together, warming up the army veterans and introducing the music acts.

John Ryan at Chelsea Pensioners Club for CSE

The specially selected performers delivered a heady concoction of swing, motown and rock to the Chelsea Pensioners.

The Estrellas onstage at the Chelsea pensioners Club for CSE

Ondrej Gabaj, Food & Beverage Outlets Manager, Chelsea Pensioners Club told CSE the Pensioners are:

"always excited when they see the poster with CSE show...they really enjoyed it and had a brilliant time".

It certainly seemed that way on the night with lots of laughing and dancing. 

Queen II at CSE Chelsea Pensioners Show

CSE’s Event and Marketing coordinator Sakina Bugge said:

“In the 5 years we’ve put on shows at The Royal Hospital Chelsea, this is the first time I’ve seen so many pensioners up at the front dancing. Queen II were even given a standing ovation."

Queen II play Chelsea Pensioners Club for CSE

"As always it was an honour and a pleasure to deliver entertainment to these former soldiers."

The performers also had a wonderful evening with this fabulously special audience.

The Chelsea Pensioners are probably the most iconic veterans of the British Army and reside at the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

Lewis Sings Swing performs at The Chelsea Pensioners Club for CSE

The 300 army veterans living in the Grade I and II listed site have served across campaigns including World War II, Aiden, Korea, the Falklands, Cyprus and Northern Ireland. Many have seen CSE shows of old and told us this was the best yet!

Chelsea Pensioners Enjoy 2018's CSE Show

Previous CSE shows for the Chelsea Pensioners have included TV personalities Johnny Ball, Jimmy Cricket and Johnny Casson as well as a host of fantastic tribute acts taking the pensioners back in time to the music of The Beatles, Abba, Elvis, Dusty Springfield, Rod Stewart and Karen Carpenter.

If you are looking for live entertainment for your Christmas party or Mess function, get in touch with CSE to find out how we can help. 

As a not-for-profit organisation, any surplus we make from our commercial projects goes directly into our Beneficiary Fund, which aims to improve morale and welfare of British Armed Forces personnel and their families through a variety of event and entertainment solutions. 

If you are in the military or are part of the wider military community and have a welfare requirement contact us for more information about the CSE Beneficiary Fund and/or an application form.