With Backbeat – a musical about the early days of the Beatles – closing earlier this year, it came as a surprise to hear that a new show focusing on the Fab Four was to play at another venue in London, with Let It Be opening this month at the Prince of Wales. I was sceptical that I would enjoy the show that much, as although I am a fan of the Beatles’ music, I thought that seeing a tribute act performing their songs would be a little tacky, and assumed that no one could fill the shoes of the four Liverpudlians who were part of the most successful band of all time. I was wrong, however, as Let It Be was an incredible show that brought the swinging 60s to life inside the theatre with the band performing some of the greatest songs ever written.
Let It Be comprises over 20 of the Beatles greatest hits in chronological order, from the early days with hits such as She Loves You and I Want to Hold Your Hand, to the hippy trippy stage with greats performed like Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and Strawberry Fields Forever, and through to the last years, ending in, of course, Let It Be. The show doesn’t have a story line and is more like a brilliant tribute act performing an incredible catalogue of Beatles songs as if they were doing a gig, but the oversized TV screens on each side of the stage provided context to the era, showing news reports, funny adverts and crazy Beatlemania footage from the height of their popularity. I loved this idea and it really made me wish it was the 60s again, when so much had never been done before and all seemed exciting!
With each Beatles era came different sets and costumes, and I was pleasantly surprised at how much the band looked like the actual Fab Four, especially Italian Emanuele Angeletti who plays Paul McCartney in the show. His head sways and expressions were spot on, and his actual features were very similar to Macca, as well as his voice! The resemblance to the band was a bonus and as I was sitting halfway back from the Circle of the stage, I think it helped give the illusion of extreme likeness – being on the front row I might not have been saying this!
My favourite performance of the night came during the acoustic section of the show, which featured songs such as Blackbird and Here Comes the Sun. A brilliant interpretation of While My Guitar Gently Weeps which included an incredible guitar performance by ‘George Harrison’ simply blew me away.
I was truly impressed with Let It Be, so much so that I am thinking of going again, and would definitely recommend it to young and old Beatles fans alike – young to get a feel of what Beatlemania really was like, and older so as the reminisce about an age long gone where mainstream music was actually worth listening to! It is a great show packed full of hits, interesting video clips and great performances from a classy and talented tribute band.