Writer/ Director: John Waters
Reviewer: Marie Smith
Following its Off Broadway New York Success, this celebration of the genius and music of John Lennon comes to Preston.
Part concert, part biography and part monologue, Liverpool’s Daniel Taylor reveals the essence of the life and sheer talent of one of the world’s most treasured and well-loved icons, John Lennon.
This two-hander features over 30 hits of Lennon and Lennon/McCartney including Imagine, Revolution and Jealous Guy.
The song Glass Onion was John Lennon’s postscript to The Beatles, and the references to layers and crystal balls have inspired this show. The show is a montage of song, words, emotion and image but lacks energy in parts. Whereas one would expect Lennon to have had the audience clapping and singing along, there is no audience participation, even in the lively songs.
The storytelling between songs is quality and informative and with a simple spotlight flashing between Taylor and pianist Stewart D’Arrietta throughout the show, it is easy to engage with Taylor as John Lennon.
It’s December 8, 1980, and John has just turned forty – finally comfortable and content in his own skin, he is returning home to the Dakota Building after a recording session.
Lennon starts contemplating his life, the nature of fame and fandom, friendship, drugs, sex, love, loss and Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.
The soundtrack to John’s story starts with A Day in the Life and includes classics like Help! and Strawberry Fields and the show ends, as expected, with Imagine.
Taylor – in double denim, little round glasses and mid-70s hair chews gum throughout and has similar tones to Lennon’s although some of what he says is lost with his accent and fast delivery.
Aussie musical director Stewart D’Arrietta plays various characters throughout the play with humour all from his piano. He plays a foreign doctor who tells Lennon he can’t have children unless he stops drugs and alcohol hilariously. He is fantastic on the grand piano and has great vocals, particularly in Imagine.
Touring until 22 October 2016 | Image: Contributed