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Let It Be

Published 12 March 2015

What’s it all about?

The exquisite canon of perfect pop ditties written and recorded by The Beatles performed live by a Lennon-alike and a trio of his fantastic faux-Liverpudlian pals.

Who’s in it?

It doesn’t really matter; this show is about the music. That said, original West End cast members Emanuele Angeletti, John Brosnan, Ryan Alex Farmery and Michael Bramwell all return for the 2015 run. Angeletti makes a particularly chipper Paul McCartney.

What should I look out for?

The video design by Duncan McLean – following Darren McCaulley and Mathieu St-Arnaud’s original work – that accompanies many of the songs. It is both bizarrely beautiful and trippier than a blindfolded run through a root-strewn forest.

Harrison’s glorious guitar solo in While My Guitar Gently Weeps; a moment of classic rock in a sea of pop.

Oh, and brilliant song after brilliant song after brilliant song.

In a nutshell?

Every song’s a hit in this simply staged West End favourite.

What’s being said on Twitter?

@ellsee79 @LetItBeLiveUK didn’t think it was possible for this show to get any better but tonight was absolutely amazing! #tweetandshout

@CathFrancoise Absolutely FANTASTIC Evening at @LetItBeLiveUK Press Night triumph! Fabulous show! Top Class Musicians! Audience in Raptures! #tweetandshout

Will I like it?

If you put precedence on plot, character, action or dialogue, this may not be just the ticket (to ride) for you. BUT if you want to hear a collection of the finest pop songs ever recorded played by performers who know exactly how to do them justice, and the thought of singing along to Hey Jude with a theatre full of fellow fans is already making you grin, Let It Be will make you twist and shout for joy.

Let It Be is playing at the Garrick Theatre until 27 September. You can book tickets through us here.

 

Previous First Night Feature written by Kate Stanbury when Let It Be played at the Garrick Theatre in 2014:

What’s it all about?

The Beatles, duh! Following its premiere in 2012, Let It Be is back to bring London audiences 42 of the Fab Four’s best-loved tracks in a musical extravaganza that takes you from their origins in the Cavern Club to the stadium concerts that had spectators fainting in excitement.

Who’s in it?

Close your eyes and you’d be forgiven for thinking that the band, by some unearthly means, had reformed, so good are the vocals provided by the Let It Be cast. Emanuele Angeletti’s Paul McCartney is almost as good as the singer himself, Michael Gagliano adopts all the mandatory mannerisms to pull off a convincing John Lennon, Paul Mannion’s performance as the quiet one is aptly understated, but comes to life during George Harrison numbers such as Here Comes The Sun, and Luke Roberts gives an undoubtedly exhausting performance on the drums, dropping in Ringo Starr’s trademark “peace and love” where appropriate.

What should I look out for?

A lot of theatre rule-breaking. The use of cameras and phones is positively encouraged, bars remain open throughout the show so that you can pop off for a refill and sitting still is downright frowned upon. This is a totally different theatre experience that makes you feel like you’re at a genuine music concert.

In a nutshell?

Lose yourself in the music of legends at this theatrical West End concert that brings Beatlemania back to life.

What’s being said on Twitter?

@chloe_inthe_sky @LetItBeUKTour has made me fall in love with the Beatles all over again ❤

@JuliaClark2011 3rd time I’ve seen @LetItBeUKTour and I STILL can’t get enough of it – amazing show, amazing performances!

Will I like it?

If you never saw The Beatles perform live, this is the next best thing. From Yesterday to Hey Jude, Let It Be’s cast produces hit after hit in this crowd-pleasing theatrical concert that appeals to all ages. Let’s be honest, there aren’t many people who haven’t heard of the world-famous rock band and that was evident at last night’s performance, with everyone from a little boy showing off some seriously enviable dance moves to an elderly gentleman waving his not-so-smartphone in enjoyment.

 

Previous First Night Feature written by Charlotte Marshall when Let It Be played at the Prince of Wales Theatre in 2013:

It may be 50 years since The Beatles first released a single, but Beatlemania is still going strong if last night’s audience at the opening night of Let It Be is anything to go by.

Yes there may have not been any teenage girls weeping hysterically as they clamber on their seats to get a better view – something I know my mother to have been a fan of when in the presence of the fab four back in the day – but getting the whole of the Prince of Wales theatre on its feet and singing is no easy feat.

With some of the best pop songs ever written at your disposal, however, the material does all the work. From the more raucous I Wanna Hold Your Hand, Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Twist And Shout to acoustic classics Yesterday and Blackbird, Let It Be is a journey through the catalogue of a truly legendary band, set to the backdrop of huge political and social change.

While more could have been made of the latter journey – vintage adverts,  flower power video clips and footage from Vietnam protests only shown to us in short snippets during scene changes – the music – and frequently changed wigs – gives us a good overview of the band’s history. From mop tops and suits to silk flares and long locks, military jackets to Lennon’s iconic white suit, the two hour production moves from the band’s wholesome beginnings to its more revolutionary moments.

Two specially created tribute bands will alternate the roles of the fab four for its London run. On the night I attended Emanuele Angeletti was on stage as a right-handed Paul, Reuven Gershon as the iconic John, Stephen Hill as guitarist George and Gordon Elsmore as a permanently beaming Ringo.

While they may not be exact replicas of the real deal, each have clearly studied their famous counterparts, Angeletti getting McCartney’s nod and bended knee posture just right and Hill taking a slight step back as George, playing the too cool for school guitarist with a stage swagger. It is Gershon who takes centre stage, however, becoming the main spokesperson, addressing the crowd in a Liverpudlian accent and calling upon them to take to their feet or rattle their jewellery in time to the beat.

Billed as a ‘spectacular theatrical concert’, anyone expecting an element of theatre will be longing for a surprise visit from Yoko to create some drama, but go expecting a tribute concert with some impressive lighting, colourful costumes and psychedelic backdrops and you won’t be disappointed.

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