Let It Be
Annerin Productions & Flying Entertainment
Grand Theatre, Blackpool
Whoever thought nostalgia is not what it was clearly did not have this show in mind.
For a little over two hours, the glossy Beatles tribute extravaganza still exerts the power to move its target audience 50 years back in time, besides informing younger theatregoers just what all the fuss was about.
Not so much a riposte to "When I'm 64" than a rallying call to "Get Back To Where You Once Belonged" as a first-night audience boogied in the aisles, or at least swayed a little in their seats.
The production comes from the same stable that also re-creates a stage experience of the music of everyone from Abba to Zeppelin, so there is an almost forensic detail to the show. Guitar brands switch between the different periods of the Beatles' career just as deftly as their fashion and hair styles change.
An extended "commercial break" on the TV screens either side of the stage (did we really watch '60s adverts in which a newly-married couple light up a Capstan in church?) give the Fab Four just enough time to grow moustaches for their psychedelic period.
It all speaks, or rather sings, to simpler times. When the '60s went with a swing rather than a pension; the big question was whether you could get into your hipsters, not out of Europe; and Tony Blackburn could write the show's programme notes...
Nearly 40 gold-plated hits delivered with an authentic flourish and all bathed in the kind of scintillating light show the band themselves never ever enjoyed. What's not to like?
Blackpool famously missed out on staging a Beatles summer season in the early '60s when a local pier impresario was unimpressed by their audition. Don’t make even a semblance of the same mistake this time round!
Reviewer: David Upton