Let It Be - The Beatles musical reviewed
Published: 18 Apr 2013 09:301 comment
There is no awkward delay while the audience warms up with this non-stop hit machine - from the first word of the first song, I Saw Her Standing There, everyone - regardless of age - is straight in there, celebrating 50 years of the greatest band the world has ever seen until the rousing finale Hey Jude.
So, no, I'm not an impartial reviewer but who is when it comes to the Beatles?
There is no need to include any story-telling or pretence at a plot, as with many theatre-based retro music shows currently touring, with The Beatles everyone knows the history and the songs - even the large group of French students in the audience. Let It Be is simply hit after hit. There were only two songs I didn't know all the words to and my 14-year-old daughter knew almost as many. Inevitably with such a prolific band there were plenty of our favourites missed out and we had almost as much fun singing them all the way home as we had singing along in the auditorium.
If you have never been to the beautiful Art Deco Savoy Theatre this show is as good an excuse as any, but really it would have been just as much fun at any kind of venue.
The staging stayed the same all the way through while the backdrop switched from the red brick arches of Liverpool nightspot The Cavern, to up the road at The Palladium for The Royal Variety performance in 1963, the Shea Stadium in New York, the roof of their recording studio and of course, Abbey Road.
The costumes, hair and make-up are faithfully accurate as are the looks, gestures and mannerisms and that's what sets this tribute show apart from so many others. All the music is played and sung live by the fab four on stage.
I didn't learn any more about The Beatles than I already knew and there was no fresh footage among the film clips that provided breaks for costume changes. My sister in law was lucky enough to see The Beatles at the Adelphi Slough in May 1963 - they were second on the bill to Roy Orbison - this was the closest I was ever going to get to The Beatles and it was great fun. And I could actually hear what they were singing rather than thousands of screaming, hysterical girls.
Let It Be, Savoy Theatre, London. Book at www.atgtickets.com