I’m not sure what I was expecting from Let It Be at the Savoy Theatre. Billed as a ‘theatrical concert’ perhaps a journey through the Beatles career, a story of their lives through their popular discography?
In essence it was a Beatles tribute act gig with a few glitzy costumes, projections and bright colourful lighting, and I couldn’t help thinking how the producers had cashed in big time here. There was no attempt at a story and whilst it was quite clearly a gig, there was minimal interaction with the audience. The performers didn’t seem to quite be sure if they were being the Beatles, or just being like the Beatles. The projections behind were enjoyable depicting black and white films of the 60s, some psychedelic artwork or album artwork, but that was pretty much the only change to the stage throughout. The band stayed centre stage with short breaks to change costume where the flats came down and it was just pretty un-exciting to be honest! There is not a lot of ‘theatre’ to be found in this concert and I was left wondering in the interval where exactly it could go from here. The answer – nowhere else really!
Saying that, there were some notable performances from James Fox as Paul McCartney and Reuven Gershon as John Lennon. Paul McCartney would be impressed by the stunning performance Fox gave of the title track as an encore to the show and Gershon sounded so like the infamous Lennon I could have closed my eyes and been transported to the 60s. The harmonies were tight and the energy from the performers was excellent, and despite my opinion of the presentation of the show, I too found myself singing along to my favourite tunes along with the rest of the audience. The projections were good and the old 60s adverts shown on large TV screens when the band were changing were funny and nostalgic.
This show is what it is – some Beatles hits being played by some good musicians and some great singers. If you like the Beatles it’s a no brainer – you’ll like this. If you love the Beatles, you’ll like it even more! If you’re looking for something more than a few good songs though, I’d look elsewhere.
Review by Jody Ellen Robinson
Friday 8th February 2013