Scotland reviews 31 items
Let It Be at the Edinburgh Playhouse
Let It Be has to be the ultimate Beatles tribute show.

From the first fuzzy black and white film footage of the Fab Four through their Royal Variety Performance in 1963 to their colourful psychedelic era before they split up in 1970, this show takes us on a magical (no mystery about it) tour which reminds us just why The Beatles are the greatest band of all time.

It’s a feast for the ears and eyes. Even the reverberating sound of them playing in New York’s 45,000-seater Shea Stadium, complete with screaming fans and wild applause, has been reproduced, giving us a taste of what it must have been like to have been there.

And during their hallucinogenic period I felt as close as I ever have to being stoned as the distorted sound and psychedelic graphics merged with a rainbow-lit stage and colourful costumes.

But this show goes even further: the second half is dedicated to what a reunion concert might have been like had John, Paul, George and Ringo performed together on John’s 40th birthday in 1980, just two months before he was shot dead in New York.

Opening with a beautifully moving and unaccompanied Because, there were more tears as theatregoers lit up the auditorium with their phones in a touching tribute to Lennon’s Imagine and, before a standing ovation and multiple encores, Harrison’s While My Guitar Gently Weeps had me in bits.

Of course, the success of this show isn’t just down to the lighting, sound and design. Throughout its 38 songs the musicianship of Emanuele Angeletti as Paul, John Brosnan as George, Michael Gagliano as John and Ben Cullingworth as Ringo is exemplary, with the icing on the cake provided by musical director and supervisor Michael Bramwell’s arrangements and accompaniment on keyboard.

Today’s Fab Four also take on the personalities of their namesakes, especially cheeky, gum chewing Gagliano, though his Scouse accent at times is decidedly dodgy, while Brosnan doesn’t even attempt to sound liked a Liverpudlian.

All credit too, to director Michael Gyngell, for creating just the right atmosphere and producing such a slick show.

Let It Be is at the Edinburgh Playhouse until Oct 13.Box office: 0844 871 3014
It then continues touring:
Oct 15-20: Orchard Theatre, Dartford
Oct 22-27: Opera House, Manchester

  • Cameron Lowe Editor at UK Theatre Network Sounds great, Clare. I still haven't managed to catch this show live! I must correct that.