Every time Manchester gets a bit above itself, preening its tail feathers and muttering casually about musical heritage, Hacienda, Joy Division etc etc, something happens that takes us right back to square one. And those reality checks are often provided by the Palace Theatre, unashamed purveyors of popular entertainment - heavy on crowd appeal, low on taste.
Thus it is that Ben Elton has been allowed to bring his musical We Will Rock You into town. Anyone who remembers Ben Elton when he was actually funny, sporting a sparkly suit and lampooning Thatch on Friday Night Live, will perhaps mutter sadly at the path his career has taken; similarly, anyone who feels that Queen haven't made a decent record since 1979 will shudder at the prospect of an Elton/Queen collaboration.
Not that my opinion makes the slightest bit of difference - people will still flock to see it. Just bear in mind though that Elton has been quoted as saying "This show is all about legend - like King Arthur but instead of the sword you have the axe, a mighty guitar." And this is exactly the reason you shouldn't go.
We Will Rock You runs at The Palace Theatre Manchester from March 21 to June 6th; for tickets (if you must) call 0844 8472277.