25-30 July 2016
Reviewed by Helen Wyatt
Yesterday (boom boom) we were lucky enough to be given the opportunity to see Let It Be, a celebration of the music of the Beatles, at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth. The show is cleverly produced to take the audience from the beginnings of the Fab Four at the Cavern Club in Liverpool in the late 50s, through all of their key hits in the 60s. The show is designed to make you feel, as the audience, that you are there at a Beatles gig, as authentically as possible. The group achieved this really well, even as far as giving you the sights and sounds of being at a huge stadium gig with 64,000 in the audience.
I’m now playing The White Album as I write this, as seeing the show has reminded of me of my love for the songs! I was born too late as an 80s kid, so getting to see this show really took me back to how it must have been in the 60s, to something I wouldn’t ever have been able to see.
The Beatles were played by:
John Lennon – Reuven Gershon
Paul McCartney – Iain Hornal
George Harrison – Roberto Angelelli
Ringo Starr – Stuart Wilkinson
Each of the above are hugely accomplished musicians and performers, and had clearly spent time studying the unique mannerisms of each of Beatles, such as Ringo’s side-to-side rocking drumming, George’s little waves to the audience, John’s silly dances, and Paul’s head wobble. From a distance you could be forgiven for mistaking them for the band, and they were a pure joy to watch and listen to. They started out in their trim dark suits and neat but longer haircuts, through to a more casual style with moustaches and shaggy locks, and to the Sergeant Pepper era of psychedelic colours, bare feet, and rainbow guitars.
The show boasts over 40 of the Beatles most well-known hits, such as Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, When I’m 64, Yellow Submarine, Hey Jude, Help!, and my favourite, performed as an acoustic solo by “Paul”: Blackbird. The Fab Four got the audience on their feet and clapping along really early along, which is in my experience a huge achievement for a traditionally British audience who hate to show that they are enjoying themselves!
The show is funny and heart-warming in equal measure, with each of the guys being given opportunity to showcase their individual talents, which were immeasurable. The chat in between the songs was amusing (“Hey Rongo!”), and the guys kept in character, with authentic Liverpudlian accents, throughout the show, engaging the audience and making us smile with fond remembrance.
We were even treated to vintage TV adverts part way through the show, with such joys as Capston cigarettes, and Prell shampoo that you could “mould into a hairstyle”, making the audience chuckle.
On top of the musical talents of the Fab Four, the little authentic touches were what made this show the unmissable spectacle that it is.
You will find when you visited Plymouth that you are given a warm welcome. It is a bright and airy theatre which not only shows plays, musicals and other productions, but also shows artists work. There is ample local parking within easy reach of the theatre and you can grab a quick bite to eat into the cafe before the show or have a more leisurely meal in the restaurant. The food is top quality, which the menu changing regularly, and I would highly recommended booking table in advance.
I would highly recommend this superb show and say that it is family friendly, other than the later finish time (10pm) – my daughters aged 6 & 9 very much enjoyed the show with me.
Tickets cost from £16 to £32.50 (booking fees may apply).
Let It Be is at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth until 30 July 2016. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 01752 267222.
Theatre Royal Plymouth, Royal Parade, Plymouth, PL1 2TR | 01752 267222