Rock star Graham Oliver plays guitar in sellout concert alongside school pupils

Graham Oliver with members of the band performning for the Mexborough School production of We Will Rock You
Graham Oliver with members of the band performning for the Mexborough School production of We Will Rock You
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LOTS of schools stage rock musicals as their annual productions.

But a group of Doncaster youngsters went one better - when they staged a show complete with a genuine rock star providing a chunk of the music.

Delighted pupils at Mexborough School had the former Saxon guitarist Graham Oliver laying down the riffs when they took to the stage for their performance of We Will Rock You, the Ben Elton penned musical based on the songs of Queen.

The 58-year-old was one of the big names of the new wave of British heavy metal in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when his band notched up a string of hit albums with names such as Wheels of Steel and Denim and Leather.

Their music reached a new younger audience when it was included in video games in the Grand Theft Auto series.

But he was drafted into the school production when it emerged his grandchildren were pupils at the school.

School spokeswoman Emma Maltravers, who worked on the show doing make-up for the cast, said: “He was playing in the band every night - he came from Mexborough originally and now his grandchildren are among our pupils.

“The music department got in touch with him, he offered his services and played the guitar for the show.

“I think the students who were taking part thought it was absolutely brilliant, but they were all taking it in their stride. They have been working so hard on the show.

“Saxon were from some time ago, so I’m not sure everyone knew who they were. But I think it’s fair to say the pupils who were playing in the band with him thought it was amazing.

“I thought it was an amazing show.”

Graham had even joined the band in the weeks running up to the show to join the pupils for their practice sessions.

And the big name certainly paid off - most of the nights for the show at the school were sold out.

Graham and the rest of the band and cast belted out famous Queen songs including We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions and Bohemian Rhapsody, in a show set in a future where pop music has been banned.

It was a far cry from the school’s last production - a version of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.