THERE will be an older lady in the audience of Queen musical We Will Rock You this week at the Theatre Royal.

And it’s more than likely her 75 year-old feet will be stomping hard on theatre floor when hits such as We Are The Champions and We Will Rock You are belted out.

Why? The lead performer on stage is her grandson, Ian Mcintosh.

Ian reveals their closeness goes beyond regular familial ties.

“It’s because of my gran that I’m touring with this show,” explains the actor who plays Galileo.

“When I was young my gran noticed that I could sing a little bit and she took me to the West End to see a production of Oliver! And it changed my life.

“There I was sitting in the audience and I can remember actually saying ‘I want to be that boy up there on stage.’

“I was only around ten at the time but I also remember saying to people that I wanted to make people feels as good as Oliver had made me feel.”

Ian McIntosh’s gran, Margaret, had moved from Clydebank to the Midlands.

“I’d go along to social clubs with my parents and I got paid a pound to sing songs. My gran realised I could sing a little and encouraged me.”

Later on, Ian’s gran took him back to the theatre to see the likes of Starlight Express and Les Miserables. And he knew his heart was set in a career in musical theatre.

But how to make it happen?

“I had no idea,” he admits. “Coventry isn’t the arts centre of the world. And when I was 16 I was set to become an electrician. But my uncle had a friend who’d gone to a musical theatre college in Southend and it was suggested I go down there for an audition.”

Not only did it go well, Ian McIntosh was so impressive he was offered a full £40k scholarship.

Yet, he admits he didn’t set Southend on fire with his skill set.

“I was too young,” he says, with a wry smile. “As a result I did two Second Years. The reason was I could sing but I couldn’t move on stage. I’d never been to acting classes as a kid.”

By the end of his stint in Southend, Ian was still far from being the complete performer.

“At my graduation show I was set up to sing Barry Manilow’s Mandy. But I couldn’t walk around naturally and sing at the same time. Someone eventually got me a stool to sit on.”

He laughs; “It took a while but I had to learn to act walking.”

There were disappointments along the way; “I auditioned for We Will Rock You, to be an understudy, when I left college.

“But I had a cold at the time, plus the nerves kept getting the better of me.”

Yet, he was prepared to work hard, to learn. Ian landed smaller roles, in the ensemble, then he was the alternate in a few productions.

And gradually he learned from performers such as Killian Donnelly in The Commitments.

Ian’s keenness paid off and he went on to pick up an Oliver nomination for his role of Barry Mann in the West End production of the Carole King musical, Beautiful.

“The first thing I did was I called my mum and my gran.”

The nomination gave Ian a lift up the career ladder. “It gets you in the room,” he explains. “But then you’ve still got to convince. Especially when a company needs to be able to trust you with a part for maybe a year.”

The producers of We Will Rock You have faith in the young star performer, the stage show set 300 years into the future, at a time when music has been outlawed.

But young Galileo and his friends such as Scaramouche determine to bring music back to the world.

“Ben Elton (who wrote the book) has taken the framework of George Orwell’s 1984 and replaced ideas such as ‘thought crime’ with ‘music crime’.”

It’s no exaggeration to say that most critics have deemed Ben Elton’s storyline to be a criminal act in itself, a thin excuse to allow for the performance of Queen’s majestic back catalogue.

But that hasn’t stopped the show being a worldwide success.

“You have to remember that Ben Elton has written some very funny material here. He really has created some great laughs.”

Ben Elton’s appearance during rehearsals helped Ian develop his acting skills.

“He came along to rehearsals and we had a two hour session just to work on Ben’s comedy. What the experience really taught me was comedy timing.”

Ian is overjoyed to be starring in the Queen musical. He can’t wait for his gran to see him on the Glasgow stage.

But did he ever get the chance to play Oliver?

“No, the best I managed was playing one of Fagan’s street urchins in a local production,” he says, grinning.

“But that doesn’t matter. I’m exactly where I want to be in one of the best musicals ever.”

We Will Rock You, the Theatre Royal, until December 28.