Reviewer: Beth Steer
As the biggest ever tour of The Beatles’ celebration showLet It Bedoes the rounds of the UK, theatre-goers, mega-fans and music buffs alike will not be disappointed by the performance at the Bristol Hippodrome.
Comprised of over 40 Beatles’ hits, Let It Be spans the iconic era of the first mania-inducing boy band’s illustrious career – with clever staging, witty audiovisual and brilliant singing to take the audience on the band’s journey from gigging in their humble hometown venues in Liverpool, to making it big in the USA and globally, releasing ground-breaking studio pieces.
With performances of greatest hits, including Twist and Shout, She Loves You and Drive My Car, as well as mega-hits Yesterday, Hey Jude, Come Together and, of course, Let It Be, the show is part documentation of the band’s successful history, part exploration of the changing attitudes across the eras and, mainly, a rip-roaring concert that has the audience on their feet.
With the audience encouraged – practically forced – to participate from the start, it isn’t long before ‘those in the cheap seats’ are up and dancing, singing along and photographing (pictures and social media are allowed) the performers and production in a way that chimes with the footage of actual Beatles’ concerts that plays on stage simultaneously.
The musicians are incredibly talented, portraying the ‘fab four’ – John, Paul, George and Ringo – seemingly effortlessly, with tongue in cheek banter with the audience and among themselves. The creative production is particularly impressive – with clever graphics, fabulous costume and seamless staging ‘coming together’ to transport the audience from era to era.
Dedicated Beatles fans are sure to enjoy the sheer number of songs performed, and even those with only a passing interest in the group won’t be disappointed by the production itself: the way the difference between the band’s older and more recent material is portrayed is fascinating, and the stream of retro adverts – for 70s brand shampoo, cleaning products and cigarettes – along with the trippy reincarnation of Sargent Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club and sense of nostalgia is a really enjoyable and interesting watch.
At a little over two hours, there is time for all the classics, favourites and a few more thrown in for good measure – and the finale number will leave you singing all the way home.
Runs until 18 June 2016 | Image: Contributed