New jukebox musical Let It Be reflects the Beatles' legacy and vision
- Gareth K Vile
- 24 April 2019
Fab Four musical gets a new look for its UK Tour
Given their popularity, and the enduring appeal of their back-catalogue, a jukebox musical featuring the music of the Beatles might feel inevitable, yet several attempts to capture the band's personality and their fan's fervour have fallen flat. Let It Be, however, has reached over two million people, running on both Broadway and in London's West End. Yet for its revival, the second act has changed: while the first half concentrates on their success, the second act imagines the Fab Four reuniting a decade after the band's demise.
The promoter, Jeff Parry, acknowledges that this new adaptation was 'the original idea. I'd had in my mind for 30 years what a reunion of the Beatles would have been like. It was bringing it down to a significant time when you could do it. I thought October 9 1980, John Lennon's 40th birthday, rather than a fictitious date, and I wanted to keep it a positive scenario.'
For Parry, this remixed production reflects the band's legacy and vision: 'creating change and pushing the limits is what made them unique. The whole, original, show is in the first half. All the content is there and the first half ends with the final medley from Abbey Road. Before the second half starts, we scroll film saying the Beatles are squabbling and breaking up.'
The imagined reunion uses the music from the band members' solo careers, connecting their subsequent releases to the thread of the bands career and, in some cases, giving a live outing to songs that have only previously been performed in the studio. 'All four Beatles get a chance to lead,' he explains: 'I love to watch people's faces when they see a Lennon song followed by a Harrison song. It's almost as if they didn't link the two together.'
Parry admits that it was the Beatles who first inspired him to become involved in the music business, and that they remain a unique band with a powerful legacy. 'There's been no other band which took the risks and grew without being obviously commercial,' he says. And in the new material, that legacy is being both expressed and extended.
Eden Court, Inverness Mon 29 Apr– Sat 4 May, and touring.