Its over four years since Let It Be, a musical extravaganza celebrating the music of The Beatles played Cardiff. Since its tour debut, the show has undergone a few changes in cast personnel and format.
Audiences who loved the magic of the original show, fusing together key moments of the Fab Four’s career with an element of originality weren’t disappointed as the latest version of the show opened its new UK tour at Wales Millennium Centre this week.
The band (referred to only as Let It Be) have the mannerisms, persona and style of John, Paul, George and Ringo and are played with enthusiasm and joy by Emanuele Angeletti, John Brosnan, Ben Collingworth and Michael Gagliano.
The show picks up at the dawn of Beatlemania, with The Fab Four’s famous TV appearance on The Royal Variety Performance in 1963 of which John Lennon remarked to the audience “Would those of you in the cheaper seats clap your hands and the rest of you rattle your jewellery”.
Flanked by black and white TV monitors at the side of the stage, the tv appearances of She Loves You and I Want to Hold Your Hand are recreated like a snapshot in time. So is the Beatles American tour of 1965 as the band make the first of several quick costume changes to take to the stage of Shea Stadium to perform Help! The band by now are in full throttle, encouraging audience participation to the maximum, something the real Fab Four couldn’t achieve back in the 60s when faced with screaming fans.
Mop tops are discarded next for granny glasses and moustaches, as the band hit on psychedelia and Sgt Pepper. The Let It Be ensemble are clearly having fun performing note perfect renditions of Strawberry Fields Forever, Penny Lane and A Day in The Life with the help of Musical Director, Michael Bramwell on keyboards, “…playing the sounds that we don’t have enough fingers to play…” jokes “George”. There’s a quick nod to the animated classic, Yellow Submarine with a flag waving performance of When I’m 64 before a beeline to 1969 and the bands final live appearance on a London rooftop performing Get Back.
Let It Be’s second half stages an imaginary reunion concert on John Lennon’s 40th birthday in 1980. Commencing with an a cappella performance of Because from Abbey Road, the brass sounds of Got to Get You Into My Life strike up before “Paul” says “Welcome to the reunion!”
Imagination runs free as the band play choice solo hits including Imagine, My Sweet Lord, It Don’t Come Easy and Band on The Run. There’s also a mixture of music that influenced the young Beatles including Roll Over Beethoven, Long Tall Sally and Got My Mind Set on You.
The feelgood factor climaxes with Let It Be and Hey Jude. A visual and musical feast, Let it Be is a must-see for all Beatles fans, a magical history tour of hits all together now in a concert fans no longer need to imagine!
Let It Be continues at Wales Millennium Centre until August 25.
- Main photo of Let It Be ensemble at Wales Millennium Centre by Julia Russell