I was delighted to be offered the chance to see Let It Be by Official Theatre. This show has run in the West End before and now, following the success of The Scottsboro Boys at The Garrick Theatre, is returning.
Last night was the gala opening of this production – more concert than it is musical. As we made our way along Charing Cross Road we heard the sound of the Beatles singing out across the West End and saw the bright lights of the theatre. The crowd, both inside and outside of the building, were buzzing, singing along and loving the atmosphere. I presume it was an attempt to recreate the famous rooftop concert on top of Apple Corps in 1969, and thankfully, this performance wasn’t shut down.
Let It Be is a show of music and atmosphere, where singing, dancing and photo taking were actively encouraged. The hashtag #tweetandshout was used by those in the auditorium and those who had been lucky enough to attend an earlier acoustic set by “The Fab Four” at the Waldorf. The bar was open throughout the performance which gave the show an easy going atmosphere, so if you’re worried that the theatre might be a little stuffy and uptight for you then this show is absolutely the one to try!
We follow The Beatles almost perfectly chronologically through their career, starting with I Saw Her Standing There. The cast are made up to look just like the band, and from a distance nothing looked too staged or fake which was great! It didn’t take long for the audience to completely forget they were watching what is in essence, a glorified tribute act, and everyone was singing along and twisting to the music.
Any event which features Paul McCartney, or someone pretending to be Paul McCartney serves a serious reminder that the British public can happily sing seemingly endless choruses of ‘na na nanana naa’ as soon as the first notes of Hey Jude are heard. To be perfectly frank I have no idea how many times we were going round in that na na cycle, but the audience’s vocals got stronger every time.
The set is pretty basic, and effective as a concert setting. The plot is non-existent barring a few interjections from a disembodied announcer and some sound bites of the motivation behind each record from the band. However, it’s a story we all know so well, whether we’re Beatles fans or not, that everyone can follow and sing along. Don’t be put off by thinking you’re not a massive fan, I guarantee that you’ll have heard almost all of these songs multiple times in your life and will be able to sing along with the rest of them. The atmosphere is what drives the show, so don’t be afraid to get up and dance, enjoy the music and really get into it!
A huge round of applause has to go to the cast members, who carry the entire show just on their voices and instrumental talent. Everything you hear on the night is performed live, and that really adds something to the event. I would absolutely recommend going to see Let It Be, especially if you’re not always keen on musical theatre, this concert event is a great way to ease yourself into the fabulous world of musicals!
Let It Be is running now at The Garrick Theatre, London.
Disclaimer: I was provided with free tickets and a souvenir programme by Official Theatre for this performance of Let It Be. All opinions in this blog post are my own.