As a former theatre host, I’ve seen my fair share of Beatles tribute acts, ‘the story of’s’ and bootleg copies. The audience is usually characterised by middle aged couples dotted with the occasional drunk old man waving his arms out of time. Whilst Let It Be didn’t let me down on this criteria, it was also a wholly enjoyable show.
Nestled in the luxurious art-deco surroundings of the Savoy Theatre, Let It Be takes you through the journey of the world’s original and arguably biggest boy band.
The early days characterised by the band’s awkward energy and go-to pop tunes soon morph into the trippy psychedelia of Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club, through the melancholy of later albums and finally to the revolutionary days, asking the audience to give peace a chance.
The scene changes are done gracefully; audience distracted by a 60 second recap of the band’s next steps, in addition to the socio-economic and political context of the time – all shown on retro television screens. Tasteful and relevant. Our personal favourites were the vintage commercials showcasing a new bride lighting up a cigarette, and a Prell ad boasting of the shampoo’s effect on a pearl. Of all the footage, this raised the greatest chuckle.
And what of the band? Well, it was undeniable that the company really resembled the band, from their moptop wigs to facial expressions and mannerisms. But what struck me was the sound – close your eyes and you could have been listening to a CD, so accurate was their take on the Fab Four’s vocals.
With an extensive back catalogue, it is inevitable that some of the favourites will get missed out – for myself it was I Am The Walrus, and Back in the USSR. Nevertheless, the sheer volume of songs that the company get through leave you in no doubt that you’re getting bang for your buck.
As a first choice, nothing could replace seeing The Beatles live in concert, but those days are irretrievably gone. Instead, for those clamouring for a pleasant evening recalling one of the most significant journeys in musical history – Let It Be might just be a close second.
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