Let It Be
Grand Opera House, Belfast
June 9th – 14th 2014
Starring: Reuven Gershon (John Lennon), Emanuelle Angeletti (Paul McCartney), John Brosnan (George Harrison), Luke Roberts (Ringo) and Michael Bramwell on additional keyboard etc
For tickets and more info visit the GoH website
Following a smash-hit tour of UK and Ireland, LET IT BE returns to London for a strictly limited summer season at the Garrick Theatre! Seen by over 700,000 people worldwide, LET IT BE is jam-packed with over forty of The Beatles’ greatest hits.Relive The Beatles’ meteoric rise from their humble beginnings in Liverpool’s Cavern Club, through the heights of Beatlemania, to their later studio masterpieces, with live performances of early tracks including Twist and Shout, She Loves You and Drive My Car, as well as global mega-hits Yesterday, Hey Jude, Come Together and, of course, Let It Be.
I wasn’t sure what to expect going into the show; I had deliberately avoided as much as I could because, as a life-long Beatles fan, I wanted to go in and be amazed and entertained. And surprised. And I was. On so many levels.
The show itself is more of a concert that a stage show – there is no story here, no complex themes, no struggles for John, Paul, George and Ringo, it doesn’t care about Germany, about Pete Best, about Astrid or what really happened between Harrison and Eric Clapton or what Layla is really about – although there is a funny little aside to it – what it cares about is the music, the story and the journey here is the music. And that is exactly what it should be.
Starting in the humble beginnings of The Cavern in Liverpool, through to the Royal Variety Performance, to their conquering of America and then Sgt Pepper and beyond, the show is a delight for fans young and old. Now, while I said that this isn’t a play as such, each character is played to near perfection. Gershon’s Lennon is an absolute delight as he, first and foremost, looks uncannily like the late singer, he also manages to personify him with just the right amount of arrogance, humour and genius; he is a powerhouse and when he sings his performance doesn’t crumble but rather escalates, embodying every nuance of Lennon.
Angeletti’s Paul is solid too, although his character seems slightly at odds with the reality of who Paul was, displaying an OTT performance in places; he curiously looks like McCartney but is the double of the singer’s Yellow Submarine animated counterpart… weird, huh? However, when it comes to the playing and singing, like Lennon, it’s as if Paul McCartney stepped on the stage from 40 years back.
The other performances are spot on, with George and Ringo falling slightly short on the resemblance stakes, but being more than good when it came to performing – both singing and playing. It truly felt as if the fab four had stepped onto the stage, the chemistry between The Company was electric. Bramwell too, keeping mostly to the shadows, is the perfect accompaniment for the main four and his piano work on In My Life is just wonderful.
With each period signposted with clips and audio from the day – the TV ads are a delight – the show brings everything together very easily with each transition being effortlesst with the stage, mostly through curtain and screen changes, brilliantly racing through the history of the band.
However, at the end of the day, it all comes down to the music and the play list is just wonderful. The audience were clapping, singing and swinging along – well, as much as possible in the Opera House – and a splendid time was had by all without a doubt. As someone who has seen everyone from Paul McCartney to the famous Bootleg Beatles perform live, I can without a doubt say that this is the best Beatles act you are going to hear.
Let it Be does a few things that are almost unheard of these days. In a world led by celebrity gossip and news, this show focuses not on the artists but the art and proves that the world had until that point never seen anything like The Beatles and never will again. It also manages to make the crowd forget all the nonsense and chaos that is going on in the outside world for a few hours and sends them home happy and, yes, reaching for that Rubber Sould album again. And that is the greatest feeling in the world – to be sent home with a song in your heart. And, if it helps just one person stop singing Let It Go and start singing Let It Be then it is, without doubt, a force for good in this world.
Unmissable, dynamic and brilliant, this is without a doubt an unforgettable night for fans of The Beatles.