Let It Be

Norwich Theatre Royal

Having had the pleasure of talking to the show’s creator, Jeff Parry, and having been infected by his enthusiasm for his creation, my expectations were high for Let It Be,  a celebration of the music of The Beatles.

I was not disappointed.  But then, where could you go wrong creating a show which includes over forty well known hits by a group whom everyone has heard of – apart from the cast of the movie ‘Yesterday’.  But that is a different review for a different publication!

This could have been a cheesy musical tribute show, with a plot loosely built around song titles.  But it is not.  It is what is says on the tin – A Celebration of The Music of The Beatles.  From the opening chords of “She Loves You” the show has you singing along, and believe me most of the people in the audience last night knew all the words to all the songs!

We are brought on a journey from a Royal Variety performance, through Shea Stadium to the psychedelia of Sgt Pepper’s sixties as the hits kept rolling off the stage like an incoming tide – many of these numbers were never performed live outside the walls of Studio 2 at Abbey Road.

Two TV like props above the stage kept us inline with the historical timeline showing newsreel footage of the day, newspaper headlines and such like – weren’t there a lot of cigarette adverts back then?

As the curtain fell on the first half you could tell that the audience were keen to get to the bar or toilet and back to their seats as quickly as possible.  Nobody wanted to miss a thing.

Act 2 is a complete work of fiction, still wall to wall Beatles songs, but what if… what if the band buried their creative differences and got together for a reunion gig to celebrate John’s 40th birthday? What followed was a roller coaster ride of old Beatles hits, solo hits and – get this.  The Beatles covering Chuck Berry!

John, Paul, George and Ringo will always be catchier to say than Richard, Emanuele, John and Ben. But these four talented musicians did the fab four proud by reminding us of just how good the music of The Beatles is.  And of course, there was the fifth Beatle, musical director and keyboard player Michael Bramwell.

The show did its job, we all left the theatre feeling like we had a good time.  Wherever you are in our region, it is well worth a trip to Norwich Theatre Royal to catch this show before it closes on Saturday 22nd June.  Click here to book tickets.

I got talking to the couple who were sitting beside me before the curtain came up.  He asked if I had ever seen The Beatles live.  Sadly I had not, I replied.  No, I suppose you wouldn’t have, you are a lot younger than we are, we saw them at Hammersmith Palais in 1963 he proudly told me, we must have been 18 or 19 at the time.  At the interval I asked what they thought about the show. It’s very, very good they both replied enthusiastically.  Throughout the show they clapped, they sang, they swayed, they held hands.