For the enthusiastic Beatles fan, this is the perfect show for you. It delivers the Beatles’ songs as you know them in all their glory, played by talented musicians and impersonators. However, when stripped back, the show has little more to offer than its hearty atmosphere.
‘Nostalgia’ is undoubtedly the key word for this night. Each hit issues a huge sigh of contentment from the audience, as we lend our ears and hearts to the familiar, euphoric tunes. If you are not one to be swept away by the Beatles’ music, it would be very easy for the show to become monotonous. It relies on the audience’s excitement at the presentation of each new song and the impressive talent of the impersonators: Emanuele Angeletti, John Brosnan, Ben Cullingworth and Michael Gagliano. In time, it becomes clear that the production intends to coast quite comfortably off of these factors.
From the back of the dress circle, I personally found myself wishing to be closer to the action; to stand united with the crowds having a good ol’ boogie in the stalls below. The atmosphere on-stage was electric, but despite a couple of acknowledgements to us up “in the cheaper seats”, the ambiance didn’t reach as far back.
The acoustic, solo hits were certainly a personal highlight. Songs such as ‘Blackbird’ and ‘Yesterday’ offer well-timed moments of serenity that are welcomed by the audience. They showed off the talent of the musicians and were emotionally very moving.
Do not expect to learn anything new about the Beatles’ history! Four analog TV sets placed to the sides and above the stage occasionally provide a couple of well-known facts about the Beatles, but these screens are mainly used to stall the audience during the quick costume and set changes, presenting footage from periodically relevant moments in history and sometimes close-up shots of the musicians on-stage and the audience. I wouldn’t call the multi-media aspect of the show impressive, but it serves its purpose and at times gives us a laugh at the absurdity of 1960s TV adverts.
‘Let It Be’ does not try to surprise or astonish you with originality, but it is entertaining. It is near impossible for you not to leave the theatre without the ‘na na na na-na-na-na’ mantra still ringing in your ears (you know the one!), and maintaining your happy spirits for the duration of your journey home. If you let your hair down and spoil yourself with some shameless idolatry, this could be an unforgettable evening.
PHOTO CREDIT: Paul Coltas