Let It Be is a conundrum of a production. It is most definitely not a juke box musical as there is no attempt to provide a narrative or structure to frame the Beatles music.
It is much closer to a high quality tribute band playing a big budget party. Act 1 is simply an endless parade of hits with some faithful costumes and dodgy wigs and Act 2 implies an imagined reunion which really pushes its luck.
So much is glossed over; the vintage TV monitors play loops of footage of hysterical fans and a whistle stop tour through the changing political climate and volatile times.
Clips from old TV adverts are entertaining but these are just plugs to allow for costume changes and provide nothing useful set against a backing of other songs of the era.
The monitors also provide a “live” feed from the stage which has an irritating time lag.
There is little doubt about the talent and skills of the performers. Their musicianship is excellent and vocally they are more than capable of the simple harmonies and recreating the essential hits of the Fab Four.
All music is performed live and the only allowance is for a keyboard to recreate the multi layers of instruments for the Sergeant Pepper’s section.
Emanuele Angeletti (Paul McCartney) John Brosnan (George Harrison) Ben Cullingworth (Ringo Starr) and Paull Mannion (John Lennon) all provide a good likeness and work hard.
The lack of rapport leaves it a little cold and without narrative it is hard to establish any sort of connection with the company.
This is most definitely a niche production. It does not challenge or explore anything to do with the world of the Beatles and without a plot of any real structure it lacks depth and purpose; however the skill of the cast cannot be undermined or overlooked.
If you are an ardent fan of the Fab Four and fancy a bit of a singalong then this might just be worth the trip.
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Reviewer: Petra Schofield
Let It Be, directed by John Maher, is showing at the Theatre Royal in Bath until Saturday 1st June 2019.
For more information, and tickets, visit the Theatre Royal website.