Let It Be

Let It Be

King's Theatre, Glasgow

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Alison Kerr

It's a strange one, this - a weird fusion of tribute band gig and musical theatre production - and whether you get what you expected or not probably depends on how closely you read the blurb in the theatre brochure, and if you spotted the word "concert".

For, although Let It Be is playing in a theatre, and although there is some dialogue (by way of recreations of some snippets of authentic Lennon-McCartney patter), it is essentially a concert featuring a decent tribute band performing as many of the greatest Beatles hits as it's possible to shoehorn in to a two and a half hour show.

At the outset of the opening night performance on Monday, it seemed as if there was a narrative of sorts emanating from the two retro TVs positioned high above the stage, at grand circle eye level. Archive footage of Beatlemania taking a grip across the UK then the USA, along with adverts and clips of television shows of the period, set the scene for each batch of songs. This worked particularly well for the vividly evoked Shea Stadium concert, a landmark event both in the Beatles story and the record books.

But any attempt at a narrative was abandoned during the second half, a whistlestop tour through the later Beatles hits - and funny hairdo's - accompanied by psychedelic images on the stage. Still, most of the audience looked old enough to have lived through the Beatles story, and all that mattered was having the opportunity to let their perms down, have a singalong and rediscover the inner teenybopper. Let's just hope the King's has reinforced the balconies because they have to withstand a whole lotta geriatric gyrating.