Let It Be - Show Of The Month
If you ask anyone to sing you a Beatles song, you’d be hard pressed to find a person of any age who couldn’t belt out a rendition of ‘Hey Jude’, ‘She Loves You’ or ‘Yesterday’. Their songs are timeless; being passed down from generation to generation, never losing their ability to enthral or excite. So it seems apt to celebrate the world’s most successful rock ’n’ roll band in a live theatrical concert. The audience is treated to hit after hit from the entire back catalogue of musical masterpieces as they are guided through the history of the band’s meteoric rise to worldwide stardom.
Let It Be is not your traditional musical, in as far as it does not try to incorporate the songs into a fictional story narrative, such as band musicals of the likes of MAMMA MIA! or Viva Forever! It is essentially a tribute concert that moves in more or less chronological order as we are told The Beatles’ story through their music. Between the parade of smash-hit songs, we are treated to projections of actual news footage or recordings of the hoard of screaming fans that The Beatles so famously induced. These snippets of film help to contextualise the songs and place the audience firmly in the world of the swinging 60s or psychedelic 70s showing just how much the band changed its style, moving with the times.
The success of this production really hinges on the talents of the four actor/singers impersonating the famous Liverpudlian quartet of Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. A hard ask, seeing as these iconic men are known the world over, but Emanuele Angeletti, John Brosnon, Michael Gagliano and James Fox all match up to their legendary counterparts. At times the resemblance is uncanny, even spooky as they mimic the voice and movements right down to the finest detail. The cast beautifully capture the band’s youthful exuberance at the start of their carrier, but then cleverly age and mature as we reach The Beatles’ twilight years. The Beatles famously stopped touring in 1966, just at the peak of their fame. Let It Be seems to be giving people the chance to enjoy the concert they always wanted, but never got the chance to see.
The mixture of spectacular multimedia and excellent sound operation, transforms the cosy Savoy theatre into a stadium-like concert. It is a feast for the senses, always matching the mood or style of the songs. As soon as you might be thinking that the jukebox musical form is starting to get tired or predictable, they fight back with a burst of confetti or a change in tempo to a faster or slower song. This control of the pace and rhythm of the production keeps the audience engaged throughout, bringing them to a delirious climax of Beatlemania.
This year is the 50th anniversary of The Beatles and Let It Be has set itself front and centre for the celebrations. There will be a whole host of tribute acts, I’m sure. But none will come close to the theatricality and highly polished performances found in Let It Be. Audiences sometimes forget how difficult it is play an instrument and sing at the same time. Added to this, the cast has to act the characters of The Beatles. The talent is undeniable and the music is pitch perfect. It doesn’t matter if you are a life-long fan or can just hum the chorus of ‘Yellow Submarine’, this show is accessible for everyone, as long as you come ready to sing along and dance till your feet ache!
Let It Be is playing at the Savoy Theatre and currently booking until October 2013. Don’t miss this thrilling live concert.