Photo Credit: David Munn Photography
Many will ask is this just another Beatles tribute? After all in our area we see many touring bands and annually the Bootleg Beatles bring their show and well loved by Beatles fans. So what is this show that warrants a national tour and an impressive run in the West End? Well the scale for starters as the production quality shows investment and creativity. Let It Be celebrates all aspects of The Beatles music and is presented chronologically from the Cavern days through Shea Stadium (with all the fans noise and footage), to the Sgt Pepper era to the Apple rooftop which ended it all.
As a stage musical there is no drama – this is no Kinks Sunny Afternoon, Mamma Mia or Carole King Beautiful; this is a concert show with authentic live music and costume laced together with archive footage and quotes on retro TV screens including a TV ad for Capstan cigarettes which I haven’t seen in nearly 50 years – but memorable. To the audiences here too it’s the memories of how The Beatles music reflected life in the 1960’s and their legacy has been a nostalgia trip for those who lived through it. The carefully chosen set featured most of the hits and seeing it all live really showed the huge contribution Ringo made to the sound with his distinctive fills and inventiveness for the occasion. In just over two hours there was no room for fillers so it was hit after hit from a pool of performers to ensure vocals were in peak condition for the night after night performances. At times the audience were on their feet singing along with their soundtrack in life and credit must be given to the creative lighting team as the presentation was fully complimentary with moving heads of colour and effects ever changing. The four boys have addition help from Michael Bramwell on keys who fills in with the strings, horns and other effects and they all have their moments with Paul’s Yesterday, George’s Here Comes the Sun and John’s In My Life all standing out.
A deserved encore of Hey Jude and (surprisingly) Revolution had the audience back on their feet and still in love with the Fab Four.
Edinburgh Playhouse until April 23rd.