Beatlemania returned to the North West this week in the form of tribute show ‘Let it Be’ currently running at Manchester’s Palace Theatre after a highly successful run in London’s West End.
The show charts the meteoric rise of the Fab Four in the form of many of their most iconic performances from the early days of the Cavern Club to, Royal Variety Performances, Abbey Road and the mass hysteria of touring America.
This is not a biopic and has no script or supporting cast but this show doesn’t need gimmicks or tenuous song links like some others I could mention. What you get is around 40 classic hits performed live and authentically by a talented cast. All four of the performers are accomplished singers and I have to say John Brosnan as George Harrison was uncanny in his likeness and mannerisms. His guitar solo on ‘My Guitar Gently Weeps’ was worth the admission fee alone and even drew a minor standing ovation from the appreciative audience.
This is not a biopic and has no script or supporting cast but this show doesn’t need gimmicks or tenuous song links like some others I could mention.
James Fox as Paul McCartney drew many comparisons to the legendary singer as his boyish good looks and stunning vocals had many of the female members of the audience swooning especially on the spine tingling ‘Long and Winding Road’ and timeless masterpiece, ‘Yesterday’.
Both John (Michael Gagliano), and Ringo (Ben Cullingsworth) were more than able performers with Gagliano adding a few of Lennon’s famous one-liners into the mix between songs. The company for this show has 10 performers rotating between performances to keep it fresh and this means the audience will always gain a different experience dependent on who plays which role, adding to the magic.
The Beatles have sold more singles in the world than any other act, won an Oscar, 10 Grammy Awards and numerous Ivor Novello’s for songwriting so a show like this is lapped up by their world wide fanbase and Let It Be does everything and more to recreate that magic era of the swinging sixties.
Tim McQuillen-Wright’s clever set design includes Bakelite TV screens hanging down from the stage which pre-show run an array of entertaining black and white advertisements evocative of the day. The screens also serve to punctuate the scene changes as the set transforms from the Cavern to Shea Stadium in the blink of an eye due to huge projection backdrops.
Look forward to not one but 2 encores as the band save some of their biggest hits for a rapturous finale with ‘Hey Jude’ still being sung long into the Manchester night.