The Let It Be Press night which I attended courtesy of Official Theatre started with a bang as we were treated to a Garrick Theatre Balcony performance by the exceptional Cavern Band. Consisting of Ryan Coath, Peter John Jackson, Paul Mannion and Ben Cullingworth the band got the evening rocking from the word go!
Video Clip:Day Tripper – Balcony Performance
Ryan Coath trained as an actor at Rose Bruford College and is an original member of both the West End and Broadway cast as well as touring with it across the world. Being a huge Beatles fan there was no hardship in completing his extensive research in order to perfect his portrayal of John Lennon which he does with extreme skill. You can actually see the mannerisms are accurate and his personality change as the show goes on.
Peter John Jackson received his first guitar at the tender age of six! Is it any wonder then that his role as Paul is one that he relished and taught himself to play left-handed like the mighty icon does! Being a lifelong Beatles fan he is delighted to be part of the Let It Be cast.
Paul Mannion comes from Liverpool and studied music theatre at Liverpool Community College. Having played George Harrison in the Royal Court Liverpool’s production of Lennon telling the story of John Lennon’s life for which he received critical acclaim he is very happy to continue playing George for this show.
Ben Cullingworth attended The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance in North West London. The Beatles have always been Ben’s favourite band and feels that Ringo is a very influential drummer. Ben is honoured to play him in the West End production and around the world.
Video Clip:Help – Balcony Performance
The balcony performance caused quite a stir in the West End and we then moved into the theatre to watch the main show where the Abbey Road Band played to an already excited audience.
Before I go further I will say it is the only show in the West End which actively encourages participation and capturing the moment, any footage you see here was all shot by me and my trusty phone from Row S in the stalls.
The Abbey Road Band are as Follows
Emanuele Angeletti began his musical career at four when he sang on two records in collaboration with Pippo Franco, a famous Italian actor and singer. Emanuele bares an uncanny resemblance to Paul whom he plays and has also taught himself to play left-handed like Peter John Jackson. Emanuele was an original cast member of Let It Be when they opened at the Prince Of Wales Theatre in 2012.
John Brosnan is a London-based musician and songwriter. He began playing the guitar at the age of ten, and later went on to study classical piano performance and theory. He is an original cast member of both the West End and Broadway productions.
Video Clip:I Want To Hold Your Hand
Paul Canning has been singing and performing from a young age and has had record deals with Virgin Records and Warner Records having picked up the guitar at 14 and hasn’t put it down since. The Beatles have been very influential to him and a great passion and he is honoured to be in Let It Be
Luke Roberts achieved a BA (Hons) degree from the Academy of Contemporary Music. Luke joined the cast in 2013 and also opened the show on Broadway Luke’s own website is here.
There is a fifth Beatle on stage who plays all the parts the Fab Four just haven’t got enough hands for, Michael Bramwell who is simply outstanding!
You will having read the above and seen from the brief videos, what a massively talented team of people who work on Let it Be are. The evening is a Beatles fest of 40 songs and is a concert atmosphere. Even the bar remains open during the show! Although having been to see the show several times I rarely saw this being taken advantage of as the show is just too good to miss a second!
Video Clip:When I’m Sixty Four
Comment about the staging, lighting and sound needs to be made. All of these undoubtedly need to be applauded. I particularly liked the new scene for the Cavern Club and for me the set for Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band sequence has always been and remains a highlight of the show
My summary is simple this is a 5 star show and if you love The Beatles you cannot miss it!
Thank you to Rebecca Felgate of Official Theatre for allowing me to use this final video of the performance held at the Waldorf Hilton, (check out my blog about it over on Carns Theatre Passion) enjoy!
Awarded 5⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ by Caroline Hanks-Farmer @myctp