Let It Be at the Orchard Theatre

Let It Be
Let It Be at The Orchard Theatre

I was excited to go and see this show, I have been a Beatles music fan since I was at primary school which might not seem unusual until you find out I was at primary school in the mid 80’s and the other kids at secondary school thought I was weird having Beatles tapes in my Walkman! This does show that my love of the band predates my love of theatre by a good few years and I will always sing along when I hear the songs, the big test is if I am enjoying singing more than listening and sadly that was the case this evening.

Let It BeLet me say early that the four lads on stage are clearly talented as individual musicians (yes I am aware that Beatles music isn’t the most technical of music) but for me something didn’t quite work here. It could be the harmonies were not as tight as the band they were portraying or it could be that the sound mix was poor enough for the lady behind me to complain to her friend that the drums were too loud and overpowering or it could be a mix of them both.

For those of you not familiar with Let It Be the 1st half is set up to mimic some iconic concert performances of the band however the constant changes of tempo meant as soon as anybody had been “encouraged” to stand to join in or dance they were sat back in their seats. These short “mini sets” were divided by painfully slow costume and prop changes. Time was passed during these changes with adverts being shown on 4 screens bordering the corners of the stage although if you were in the main sections of the balconies they were too small to really see what was on them and the sound made it hard to hear unless you already knew the advert. These screens were then used along with a rear wall projection while the band were playing, either showing random graphics or “live” images from the stage that didn’t quite sync up due to delay times and were actually harder to watch than the action on the stage.

Let It BeThe second half was a concert that never happened which was basically an excuse to throw a mix of songs in from the Beatles and the post Beatles careers and while slightly more enjoyable than the first half still consisted of a set list planned to get people up for long enough for them to sit down again. Looking around the room during this it was easy to spot a large number of people sat down not singing or clapping and empty seats that had been filled at the start of the show.

Being brutally honest this is a concert so if you are after “proper” musical theatre this is not really worth a visit. If you are a Beatles fan and want to see a tribute band on stage(this was basically a glorified tribute act) I have to say I saw better Tribute acts on stage back when I worked on the holiday camps, if you are just a live music fan maybe see what bands are playing in your local as there will be more atmosphere.

I’m sure some people might disagree with this but Let It Be was a massive let down/disappointment and judging by the fact that on a busy walk back to the car park nobody around me was talking about the show suggests I was not the only one with this impression.

Review by Andrew Parker

To find out more about Let It Be and what else is on at the Orchard Theatre, visit their website.

If you like this review you might also like my review of 20th Century Boy, American Idiot and Mythic.

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