(Seen at the Prince of Wales Theatre preview performance on 19th September
Let It Be? Let It Be!!!!!
If you are simply wanting to watch / clap / sing along / dance to 90 minutes of
Beatles songs - linked during scene changes / accompanied at times during songs
- by film clips of the era and animations, this may be for you. At West End
prices, though, a local tribute band may well be as satisfactory.
If the above paragraph applies to you, please stop reading now. The monkey was
at a performance where this seemed to be the case, and it doesn’t wish to offend
anybody who feels that way. You are very much entitled to that enjoyment, and it
wouldn’t spoil anybody’s fun for anything.
The monkey is a theatregoer, and attends West End theatres. It expects to find
any production occupying one to display, at the very least, something called
“Showmanship.” A demonstration that thought has been lavished on every aspect of
a presentation to make it as good as it could be, for the enjoyment of the
audience. As stated above, a majority at the monkey’s performance did enjoy
The monkey simply watched the whole event unfold with ever-growing disgust. It
has seen Paul McCartney live, and just as a kick-off, the person doing
“Yesterday” during this show shouldn’t. If we are supposed to be watching a
tribute band, then the only thing they possibly got right was acting on Lennon’s
quip that “Ringo wasn’t even the best drummer in the band.”
As for the rest, it’s a deeply average bunch of performers playing number after
number. Sometimes they go off for a costume change so “films and tunes of the
era” are played – and it was noticeable that the monkey’s favourite moment in
the show was “I’m A Believer” – not Beatles at all... and that’s speaking as a
Sometimes a curtain goes up or down and a few more undergraduate level
animations appear – a few almost relating to the music. Near the end, the
performers try to connect a little more with the audience by talking at them.
Too little too late.
On the plus side, it’s noticeable how the Beatles music becomes more
sophisticated. On the minus, nobody even thought to put songs into an order that
might constitute a “presentation” - mixing the fast and slow, obvious openers /
closers, lift / calm numbers or instigate a proper chat among the band. Maybe
“rights” issues prevented that, but it would have made a show.
A local hall budget event, with less care given to it than an enthusiastic bunch
of amateurs would produce. Save your cash and spend it on CDs of the real thing.