The Let It Be musical takes you on a Magical Mystery Tour (get it? I’ll move on…) throughout the career of the Beatles, with each stage of their career portrayed from The Cavern to Let It Be. The night started with a brief history of the band and the 1960’s therefore allowing people who know a little about the Beatles to appreciate the context of the performances.
The cast were Paul Canning (Lennon), Emanuele Angeletti (McCartney), Paul Mannion (Harrison) and Luke Roberts (Starr).
The appearances of ‘Paul McCartney’ and ‘John Lennon’ were great, they both looked and sounded a lot like them, however George and Ringo weren’t quite as close in terms of looks but the sound was still on par.
‘George’ played the solos incredibly well, with the sound projecting wonderfully from the speakers, however one or two times it seemed like he wasn’t playing them and the music was pre-recorded but I may have been mistaken.
The show captures the humour of the Beatles, for example ‘Ringo Starr’, comically grabbing a clock for a piece of music that contained the sound of one ringing and having a wonderfully joyous bit with the British flag getting bigger and bigger.
The mannerisms of them all were very well done, with John’s wit being exceptionally well done, with references to the “Jangling jewelry in richer seats and clap in the back for the poorer seats”. Also included was self referential jokes to the musical itself ‘John’ stated “1965 wasn’t long ago” as this part of the show was set in 1967 then joking “it was 40 minutes before the interlude.” Furthermore near the end of the show ‘John’ started playing Imagine his arguably most famous song from 1971 and quipped “oh yeah it wasn’t written yet” as this part was set in 1969.
In addition to the camaraderie, small details like the way they stand and move around the set was very similar to the original Beatles. Furthermore the props such as the guitars were the replicas of the originals and changed throughout the set to accommodate the appropriate time period.
To truly recreate the vintage experience, shots of them with a black and white 60s style TV made it look like the Beatles would of done at the time and I have to admit when I first saw it I thought it was the original clips. To further enhance this they included genuine footage from the shows of fans screaming with the performance today truly recreating the experience people would of got at home and showing what the actual performance looked like in real life.
The curtains drawn they started off boldly with a recreation of the set of the cavern and “I saw Her Standing There” to get the night off to a great start. The only thing to discern it was the “Let It Be” on the drum set which slightly took away from the time period as it wasn’t yet written.
For twist and shout ‘John’ asked all the crowd to stand and to “do the twist”, which most of the crowd did although the section I was in many stayed sat down.
One of the highlights was the stripped back Yesterday with the spotlight purely on ‘Paul’ getting the crowd to join in was a great experience.
During an interlude old style adverts were played which were funny due to the shear absurdity of them compared to now with the obvious negative affects of cigarettes known and how it is portrayed as being almost a part of the family.
The TV’s were a constant present throughout, displaying the history during the time and setting up the period, such as the transition to colour, increased use of LSD and the Vietnam War.
For the later stages of the Beatles career, the music became more complex with more orchestras and the like being used. However instead a keyboard player was used who was arguably the greatest performer of the night, playing a variety of backing music to replace the for-mentioned orchestra and sounding just like it. Although his appearance was nothing like the rest of them which somewhat ruined the illusion, being referred to as there ‘George Martin’ maybe he should have been less visible.
Another highlight was the Lucy in the Sky sequence where lighting and smoke effect were used fantastically to create a dream like state where orbs seemed to be floating in front of you.
Another great moment was the While My Guitar Gently Weeps performance which included one of the longest sequences of the night with wonderful guitar solos.
The Abbey Road outfits worn by the Beatles in the iconic cover were used for this section of the performance with minor details like Paul not wearing shoes included which were a nice touch. They used these outfits to perform some Abbey Road songs live as the Beatles didn’t perform many of them live and therefore had to improvise a scenario.
Let it be was played to great reception, and was the second to last song before the Hey Jude finale, which was well done with everyone singing along.
There were numerous references to certain Beatles things for the more hardcore fans such as the Long and Winding Road which ‘George’ stated was “how it was suppose to be, naked” referring to the 2003 album Let It Be.. Naked where the Phil Spector (producer) ‘wall of sound’ production was removed.
Overall the performance was fantastic, a great replica of the Beatles with many minor details and references which as a big fan were wonderfully appreciated. However that’s not to say it was perfect, on a few songs ‘John’ sounded a bit to much like he had a cold, ‘Paul’ struggled with one or two songs when getting the high pitched notes and the impressions somewhat faltered. Saying that pretty much every big hit was played, creating what was probably the closest you will get to the real thing. Therefore the minor problems aside this is a show I would highly recommend to any Beatles fan.
The performances will be going on till November 14th at the Liverpool Royal Court (near Lime Street) here is a link for tickets and more information: