Let It Be
of the life and music of The Beatles
8th October - 14th November 2015
However, having seen the recent production at The Royal Court, you would
be forgiven for leaving with as much knowledge of the band as when you
first sat in your seat. With impressive sets, holograms and clips of the
political and cultural history of the time, for example the Vietnam War
and the hippie movement, all a real Beatles fan learns of their lives
is that they know every answer to the quiz that appears on the television
screens before the show begins.
Beginning in the Cavern, with a screen between audience and band, possibly
in order to give the impression of the dark and smokey atmosphere of the
Cavern Club in the early 60's, the show begins with a slightly lacklustre
performance of "I Saw Her Standing There", however once the
sound engineer picks up the volume and the band can hear themselves, the
energy lifts and we are taken through a set of early numbers with "John"
acting foolishly (sometimes overplayed by actor, Paul Canning) and "Paul"
giving the audience all the charm and charisma as only Italian Emanuele
Jumping forward to their trip to America we see real footage of The Beatles
arriving, however, with a singalong Yesterday and Ringo's (Luke Roberts)
well performed "I Wanna Be Your Man" being upstaged by unnecessary
dancing around by John, Paul and Ringo it didn't quite scream Beatlemania.
We are then taken to the film years, opening a short set with A Hard
Days Night, a personal favourite, performed well with an impressive backdrop
of the famous album cover.
Halfway into the first act comes Shea Stadium, the famous sell-out 1965
performance by the Beatles, attended by over 60,000 screaming fans. Upon
the screens we see real footage of the original crowds, blended with video
footage of the Let It Be cast, making the actors look slightly more like
the real thing.
This section of the show seems stronger than those that have come before.
However fans of Paul will be disappointed that "I'm Down" doesn't
feature in the set list and John doesn't get to play the keys with his
elbow. Still, the band manage to get the audience on their feet long before
the interval by throwing in Twist and Shout and encouraging us all to
Sgt Pepper closes the first act, with a sneaky performance of Eleanor
Rigby (from the Revolver album) thrown in for a bit of extra Paul, followed
by a trippy, psychedelic Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds, closing on the
reprise of the title track, leading you into the interval comprising of
even more Beatles music featuring covers by Stevie Wonder and Michael
The second act opens with a high energy Magical Mystery Tour and we are
brought home to Liverpool by Paul's Penny Lane and John's Strawberry Fields
Forever, accompanied by an impressive lighting display saturating the
entire stage with strawberries.
An acoustic set follows with a beautiful performance of Blackbird, eventually
causing disappointment due to the encouragement to sing along, unnecessary
for such a song.
It is during this set that George, the quiet one ( played by John Brosnan)
is given the spotlight and blows the audience away with his version of
Here Comes The Sun and While My Guitar Gently Weeps, which begins acoustic
(a la Anthology) and then with lights, drums and gusto, we are led into
the impressive guitar solo, originally performed by Eric Clapton.
The cast really come into their own for their last section - Abbey Road
/ Let It Be, with the quirky addition of Paul being barefoot. The section
opens with an impressive performance of Come Together by Canning and it's
not long until the audience are back on their feet for Back in the USSR
and Revolution followed by an IPhone torchlit rendition of Let It Be.
The show obviously closes on The Beatles most popular singalong (this
time well placed) "Hey Jude", wherein almost every person in
the theatre is swaying happily and trying to spot themselves on the big
Non-hardcore fans of The Beatles greatest hits will love this show. It's
a light and inoffensive salute to the greatest band there ever was or
will ever be. The cast have as much fun as the audience, dancing about
the stage, cracking jokes and playing with the rapport that they so quickly
build with not only the people in the cheap seats but also the rest of
the jewellery rattlers.