When Anna met “Freddie”

Published 4:19pm 25 September 2021

When Anna met “Freddie”
Words by Jodie Powell

Redcliffe’s iconic English tearooms Teddies ’n’ Sweets had a brush with fame today when Thomas Crane – renowned for keeping the music of Queen front man Freddie Mercury alive with his popular tribute show – popped in for a cuppa.

In town to perform his acclaimed show Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen’s Greatest Hits at the Redcliffe Entertainment Centre tonight, Thomas caught wind that Teddies ’n’ Sweets owner Anna Connor was a massive Freddie fan.

Anna is the Guinness World Record holder for the most times watching a film in a cinema – she saw Bohemian Rhapsody 108 times, and has since watched it hundreds more on DVD at home.

A corner of Teddies ’n’ Sweets is dedicated to her beloved collection of Freddie Mercury memorabilia, as well as a framed certificate commemorating her place as the record holder.

Thomas, intrigued by Anna’s obsession with the movie after learning about it from moretondaily.com.au, was delighted to stop by with wife Krystal.

They spent more than an hour at Teddies ’n’ Sweets reminiscing about Mercury, sampling Anna’s scones and sipping a peppermint tea.

Back on tour

When Anna met “Freddie”

He’s delighted to be back on the road, having played the Redlands Performing Arts Centre last night, after being sidelined since June because of COVID restrictions.

“We went from a hundred shows a year to zero.”

Thomas says moving to Queensland and touring in the couple’s Mercedes Sprinter van – complete with piano and drum kit – was like a dream come true.

“I’d always envisaged touring in a motorhome,” he says.

While he doesn’t have a favourite Queen song, Thomas says I want to break free is a fitting tune for both COVID and his travels.

See the gallery of the visit

Anna met a couple of members of the Bohemian Rhapsody band when they visited North Lakes a few years ago, but had long dreamt of meeting Thomas.

“We know 100 percent that we’re never going to meet Freddie, but you’re the next best thing,” she says, clutching a custom-made replica of Mercury’s famed yellow jacket Thomas wears on stage.

“I met (guitarist) Brian (May, played by Anthony) and (drummer) Roger (Taylor, played by Chubby) and they filled the room with their majesty,” she recalls.

“I walked out absolutely smitten.”

That meeting, Anna says, was eclipsed by today’s special visit – when Moreton Daily stopped by she was trembling with excitement and overcome by emotion by the visit ahead of tonight’s show, where she has second-row seats.

“I can’t believe it, I really can’t,” she says.

Read more local news here.

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