Last night I managed to get along to a performance of Let It Be, a show that’s a tribute to The Beatles. It wasn’t being pushed as a ‘musical’, which I thought was a good sign.
My greatest fear was that the producers had taken a bunch of classic songs and thrown a contrived, cringey narrative around them to make a nonsensical story. Much like you get with, say, We Will Rock You, or Mamma Mia – seriously not my cup of tea. Fortunately the show turned out to be the opposite of this.
Let It Be is essentially non-stop music, with no terrible acting in between the songs. It’s a fairly chronological run through their greatest hits, so it’s more of a tribute show that’s raised above the ordinary by good use of costume changes, various sets, plus some interesting footage and montages from each era displayed on big screens on either side of the stage. Some of the most funny footage was of crazed teen girls in the audiences of beatlemania-era gigs screaming, fainting, and so on.
Not sure if it’s my imagination, but there seemed to be some sly in-jokes and cultural points of reference thrown in that the average tourist or musical-goer might miss. In the animation that played alongside the performance of ‘Eleanor Rigby’ it looked like the animator beheaded an image of a certain Heather Mills, for example. There were also some hilarious 1960s ads played during the scene changes, bits of pop trivia, and music from other 60s and 70s artists which added to the atmosphere.
The musicians all did a great job, and vocally the artists performing as Lennon and McCartney were pretty spot on. The surprise turn of the evening was actually ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’, which was a George Harrison song, garnering a standing ovation from the hardcore fans.It’s clear that a lot of effort and love has gone into the production as a whole. I’ll even forgive them for ending with ‘Hey Jude’.
If you’re interested in going to see Let It Be, it’s worth hunting around for ticket offers. There might even be a few seats left at preview prices if you’re quick.
Disclosure: Many thanks to AKA for providing me with tickets. All views, comments and opinions my own.