We were invited to the anniversary performance of Let It Be, the Beatles tribute musical that brings the flavour of the Fab Four back to the heart of London.
This is a toe-tapping, seat-bopping and, quite frequently, foot-stomping show that would be a perfect introduction to the Beatles for your kids (if they’re not fans already), as well as possibly their first taste of a rock concert.
Before we entered the theatre, an attendant handed us ear plugs for the babes as she said it could get quite loud. True enough, the volume is cranked right up in certain numbers, adding to the gig-like ambience.
The cast of talented musicians all play and sing live throughout; but what’s really amazing is quite how much they look and sound like George, Paul, John and Ringo — right down to their mannerisms.
Let It Be is an evocative musical trip that takes you on a whiz-stop tour of the Beatles’ shows from their early days playing clubs in Liverpool, right through to world-wide Beatle mania.
The atmosphere is heightened by video broadcasts from Beatles’ concerts, cleverly blending vintage footage with recordings of the acts on stage until it’s hard to tell which is which.
At times watching clips of girls in black and white literally losing their minds over the Liverpudlians, throws into stark contrast how much more muted the audience reaction is in the Savoy theatre.
Let it Be doesn’t inspire screaming and tearing of loin cloths in that way, but it’s brimming over with nostalgia plus 40 hit songs. When the cast belts out All You Need is Love, there’s genuine affection flowing right back from the crowd.
And when John urges us to get to our feet, it’s pretty much impossible to stay seated, if only out of sheer respect for the incredible Beatles back catalogue.
From the start, my 7-year-old and my 4-year-old were captivated by the band (‘they’ve all got the same hair cuts, Mum!’), the video scenes, the lights and colours on stage (especially during the Sgt Pepper movement), but most of all by the tunes. They were thrilled to be able to sing along to songs they never realised or had forgotten were Beatles classics.
Actually we’ve played Ezra and Jed the Beatles Number Ones since they were tiny as it’s such babe-friendly music (the more sober themes go right over their heads).
Let it Be might not appeal to purists (or cynics), but if you’re after a fun time out that will get every member of your family dancing — from toddlers to nanas — then pop this show on your must-see list.
Let It Be is at the Savoy Theatre, The Strand, WC2 (Charing Cross tube). Tickets £15-£65. Shows 7.30pm (Mon, Wed-Sat), 3pm (Sat & Sun), 7pm (Sun). No performances on Tuesday.