Let it Be Review
The Bristol Hippodrome
Monday 13th June – Saturday 18th June 2016
Yesterday evening Bristol saw (and heard!) the opening of Let It Be, the story of the evolution of the world’s most successful rock ‘n’ roll band, The Beatles. Mother had seen the show before and was so keen for the children to see it that we bought an extra ticket in addition to my press allocation so all three boys could go.
Before the show, we were asked to silence the ringtones on our phones, but this was quickly followed by an unusual invitation to “be our guest” if we’d like to take photos and videos during the show and then share them on social media! That was a surprise and I didn’t need to be told twice. I’m messing around with SnapChat at the moment so I created a snappy little video montage and have added a couple of other clips on Facebook and YouTube. These short clips should give you a bit of a feel for the show.
Let it Be – The Show
I intentionally don’t research shows in advance of reviewing them, as I like to view them with fresh, unbiased eyes. OK, that last statement sounds quite sensible and grown up, but it might be more accurate to say that I’m a busy working Mum, who systematically takes on too much and barely manages to arrive at the theatre on time, let alone reading up on the show beforehand! Anyway, you get my point. I didn’t know what to expect from this show and vaguely assumed that there would be a bunch of Beatles songs cobbled together by a basic plot. Wrong!
Within moments of the curtain rising, I had the impression that I’d taken the boys along to a concert rather than musical theatre, as I watched this noisy, animated recreation of The Beatles’ music, set in The Cavern Club. The musicians cleverly managed to look like they were actually playing a gig, rather than acting out a performance in a show.
I was worried that my boys might be disappointed, because they do generally enjoy having a storyline and hearing dialogue, but they seemed happy enough to listen to the music, very little of which was familiar to them (another Mummy fail!). Instead, we were treated to banter between numbers, inviting us to scream or to stand up for the following song. Virtually everybody did, by the way – stand up and dance I mean, not scream, but sound effects did the job of screaming for us, particularly when we reached the American tour. Fake camera flashes from the screen and lights behind us completed the effect of a busy stadium.
The clip below shows a typical link between songs – you might have heard this one before!
Two monitors above the stage cut between live action, girls screaming and what I originally thought was footage of the Beatles, until my ten-year-old pointed out that it was actually live action from the stage. What a clever touch!
The set changes were interesting with a large central screen sometimes being featured alongside the TVs on the sides, leading us through significant historical moments and at one point some really duff period commercials. The Capstan advert, where a husband offered his beautiful new bride a cigarette he’d lit for her, was spectacularly tasteless but offered a great chance for later discussions with the children about how times have changed and the logic behind current tobacco advertising legislation.
As time passed, the musicians’ hair grew longer, the suits disappeared and the musical styles changed. At times it was psychedelic, with peace and love being the order of the day, at others it was almost heavy rock, with protracted guitar riffs and then there are the quiet, emotional numbers like “Here Comes the Sun” and near the end of the evening, the hugely popular “Hey Jude”,which was so late in the day, that I realised afterwards that people had been panicking that it wasn’t going to make the list.
Let it Be – Age Suitability
As long as the children like music and are happy to sit through a couple of hours of it, then Let it Be is appropriate for any age, I’d say, as there are no sexual references or bad language. Even during the psychedelic stage, with Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and gyrating lasers aplenty, I noticed no actual allusion to drugs.
‘Let it Be’ is a family friendly enjoyable evening out which is more like a well-organised gig than a conventional show. Our ‘Fab Four’ for the night were clearly talented musicians, both vocally and instrumentally and sustained their performance throughout the evening, as did the keyboard player who was hidden at the rear of the stage during the majority of the evening. Right from the beginning, the audience were up on their feet, laughing in the right places, singing along and waving their arms in the air.
All three Practically Perfect generations enjoyed it so Let it Be gets a big thumbs up from us.
Cast and Credits
The fab four are played by Reuven Gershon (John Lennon); Emanuele Angeletti (Paul McCartney); Paul Mannion (George Harrison); Luke Roberts (Ringo Starr). The band will be joined on stage throughout the tour by Phil (full name pending) on keyboards.
Facebook: Let It Be UK Tour
LET IT BE
Monday 13th – Saturday 18th June
Evenings at 7.30pm
Matinees on Wed & Sat at 2.30pm
Tickets from £22.90
Concessions available at certain performances
(This is an affiliate link which means that I’d receive a small percentage of the basic price, if you choose to buy eligible tickets, without you having to pay any extra. Cool right!)
DISCLOSURE: WE RECEIVED TICKETS FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS REVIEW.
ALL OPINIONS ARE MY/OUR OWN. POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS