Wow! What a fantastic evening I have just spent at Hull New Theatre. I was privileged to be in the audience for the Beatles tribute “Let it be” and I have had a fantastic night. Whoever is booking the shows for New Theatre, I want to shake your hand. This is another brilliant night’s entertainment.
I wasn’t sure what to expect to be honest. Would this be a narrative of how the Fab Four got together and their rise to fame? It was, and was well told by a narrator who only spoke once or twice. The Fab Four themselves John (Michael Gagliano), Paul (Emanuele Angeletti), George (John Brosnan) and Ringo (Ben Cullingworth) were on stage all night and took the audience through various stages of The Beatles incredible career with sets of songs.
To start the show, the band wore suits and had classic Beatles haircuts from the era which gave us those wonderful numbers such as “She loves you”, “I wanna hold your hand”, “yesterday” and a few other favourites. Added to the band’s music was a backdrop from the band playing Shea Stadium in America and the screams of the young fans in the audience.
The Sgt Pepper era came along and the band came back on stage in the costumes synonymous with the album and treated the still singing and dancing audience to “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, “Penny Lane” “When I’m 64” and others. It was a psychedelic journey with lots of swirly patterns around the band and the auditorium. It was quite surreal. My companion actually turned to me to say it could only be better if they had handed out acid to everyone as we came in! But all too soon it was time for the interval.
For me, this was definitely a show of two halves. The crazy rise to success of the first half, followed by a calmer, more politicised and mature band for the second part.
The band sang “Got to get you into my life”, Band on the Run” (Wings), “My Sweet Lord” and “Blackbird” among other well-known and not-so well-known songs. But we were spoiled with a beautiful rendition of “Imagine”.
At the end, the audience were calling out for more and they got a superb encore of Let it Be and Hey Jude.
It must have been difficult for the producers to choose which songs from the Beatles catalogue to sing. So many excellent one’s chosen, yet so many missed out. Unfortunately you can only fit so much in the time for the show.
Throughout, the band played in front of a screen projecting Liverpool, America, the psychedelic patterns of Sgt Peppers along with a yellow submarine passing by, alas no rendition of the song. There were also at the front of the stage, and positioned at the corners of the stage, four “TV” sets showing montages of the Beatles life in the 60’s and the band on stage, which was handy when everyone stood up.
But what really made this show so brilliant, was that the audience were encouraged to clap, sing along and dance. With the entire audience up on their feet, singing at the top of their voices, it just created an electric atmosphere that really made it an unforgettable night! The narrator told the audience to imagine what a Beatles reunion would have been like if they had got together to do a concert for John Lennon’s 40th birthday, and that’s just what it was like! I loved it!
Would I recommend that you see this show? Oh definitely! You are in for a musical treat from four guys who did an excellent job of playing The Beatles all night. You will come away having had a brill time, singing great songs and dancing along with the rest of the audience.
Just be warned, those of you with a sensitive disposition, the show does contain strobe lighting, loud flashes and bangs.