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    Tags: Let_it_Be, Royal_Court_Liverpool, Paul_Canning, Paul_Mannion, Luke_Roberts, Emanuele_Angeletti, Sarah_OHara

    Review: Let it Be, Royal Court Theatre Liverpool

    Excitement for Let it Be has been abundant in Liverpool recently, as generations of fans have flocked to the Royal Court to witness the worldwide phenomenon. As a life-long Beatles fan, it was the Beatles concert that I always wanted to see – and one that was truly magnificent.


    The entire production is visually impressive. The use of retro televisions to display vintage adverts was used to humourous affect, although I was singing the catchy Fairy Liquid for quite some time afterwards! The Beatles trivia on screen before the show also had the excitement brewing in abundance. Yet it was through the different phases of the Beatles’ career that this visual extravaganza came into its own. The bright lights of Shea Stadium were dazzling, marking the hysteria that Beatlemania created across the world.


    Taking you from ‘All my Loving’ to ‘When I’m 64’ and ‘Get back’, there was a song for everybody in the show. While my favourite was missing from the set-list (the sweet ‘Happy just to dance with you’ from A Hard Days Night), the cast performed the Beatles’ iconic songs with gusto and boundless enthusiasm. The Sgt.Pepper segment was truly mesmerising; a captivating swirl of technicolour and melody. Markedly different from the earlier up-beat ‘Help’ and energetic ‘Twist and Shout’, ‘Lucy in the Sky with diamonds’ was euphoric; Paul Canning’s hazy vocals filling the room, as the audience were enticed into the dreaminess of psychedelia. The songs created a pathway through their career, as they made the transition from teenage idols to studio pioneers. Indeed it was the added inclusion of songs such as ‘Revolution’ that showed how much they cared not only about their music, but also about their fans and the world they lived in. The roars of cheers and applause from the audience tonight were proof of the show’s incredible prowess.


    It could seem a daunting feat to perform as the Beatles, especially in their hometown, but the cast owned the stage with every chord and every word. Individually each musician shined in their own right. Paul Canning’s John was nothing but wondrous; each kick of the leg and vocal drawl capturing the wit and exuberance of Lennon. That iconic wit was woven brilliantly into the onstage banter, as Canning asked the audience to “Rattle their jewellery” or joked about Ringo’s Thomas the Tank Engine days. As a singer his voice is sublime; close your eyes and you would think that you had been transported back to a Beatles concert, listening to Lennon recall Strawberry fields.


    Then there is the McCartney to Canning’s Lennon, the brilliant Emanuele Angeletti. From the cheeky smiles to the foot tapping and nods to the audience, his interpretation of Paul is quite simply perfect. Underneath a spotlight, he stood and took my breath away in an emotive, heartfelt rendition of ‘Yesterday’. Along with the accompanying vocals of a captive audience, this moment defined Angeletti as one of the best, if not the best, musician to have performed as McCartney.


    It was a refreshing change to hear songs from each Beatles member, rather than just the usual McCartney-Lennon combination.  Let it Be takes care to celebrate the talents of the entire group across their career, beginning with Luke Robert’s excellent rendition of ‘I wanna be your man’. As Ringo, he is as equally skilled a drummer as he is a singer. With every bob of the head he brings an energy to Ringo that we know so well. Plus there is a genuinely humourous moment for any fans of Vinyl records out there…


    Greatness is a word associated with guitarists such as Hendrix, but is the most apt word to describe Liverpool’s own Paul Mannion. ‘While my guitar gently weeps’ was enthralling. Mannion’s soft and gentle vocals juxtaposed with the blurring, yet iconic, guitar solo was nothing short of superb musicianship. He is equal in craftsmanship and performance to many rock greats, including Eric Clapton who worked with the Beatles on this particular song.


    Individually the cast were marvellous – together they were unstoppable.


    Let it Be is a five-star marvellous journey that celebrates a band who not only revolutionised music, but whose legacy will continue to have an impact across the world for generations to come. They were Sgt.Pepper’s lonely hearts club band – and yes, we did enjoy the show.  


    Photographs (C) Paul Coltas

      Sarah's posts By Sarah O' Hara



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