Theatre Review: Let it Be at Liverpool’s Empire Theatre
The West End theatrical concert Let It Be returned to Liverpool in an entertaining night of everything Beatles. The show takes the audience through time by presenting them with snippets of The Beatles‘ history, and therefore the performers changed their costumes several times throughout the night in order to represent that specific Beatles era. I thought this was a really creative idea as we were given a glimpse of the band during different important stages, and styles.
The first half of the show followed several important eras in Beatles history between 1962-69. Firstly, we were given a view of what an early Beatles concert would have looked like, with their iconic suits and haircuts, and the band got the show off to a good start as they played several of the Fab Four’s catchy earlier hits such as ‘She Loves You’ and ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand’. It was such a surreal experience to feel almost like The Beatles were really performing in front of a modern audience. After this we were given a recreation of several songs such as ‘Help!’ and ‘Twist and Shout’ from The Beatles’ iconic concert at the Shea Stadium in New York City from their 1965 tour. We were then treated with a selection of songs from the Sergeant Pepper album, complete with the famous colourful costumes. The first half ended with a selection of songs that were never performed live, such as ‘Come Together’ and ‘Get Back’, as they were released after The Beatles’ last ever public performance in January 1969.
The second half was a fictional concert that imagined what a Beatles reunion on John Lennon’s 40th birthday on 9th October 1980 would have looked like, 10 years after they broke up. The band played several of the solo songs, including ‘My Sweet Lord’, ‘Live and Let Die’ and, of course, ‘Imagine’. These versions of the songs sounded brilliant with the entire band and it left me wishing that I could have seen these performed by the Fab Four for real.
The second half also featured funny interactions between the performers on stage, creating an all-round entertaining show. For example, after most of the solo songs, the singer would say to the other characters “have you got anything new for us?” and George would point at Paul and say “he’s got his wings”, which was received by groans from the audience. I was impressed that all the people on stage stayed in character throughout the show, which made it more entertaining than just a regular Beatles tribute act.
The performers did brilliantly at capturing the mannerisms of the original members of The Beatles by speaking in their accents for the whole show, and acting similarly to how they behaved in real life. They joked with the crowd well, especially when Paul’s character asked whether they would like to hear Ringo sing a song, and some members of the audience groaned. The characters played along with the audience and responded to the reaction of the crowd.
I was very impressed with how the musicians representing John, George and Paul played several different instrument variations throughout the night, including the piano, just showing that their talented was not limited to just playing the guitars. Overall, Let It Be was a very entertaining experience and a must-see for Beatles fans!