REVIEW: We check out Let It Be before it comes to Sunderland

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There’s a lot to like about Let It Be.

But fans expecting a musical based on the highs and lows of their favourite band – of which there is so much rich material to pick from – will be disappointed.

This is more like a tribute to the Fab Four, albeit a very good one.

Forty four songs from a back catalogue of hundreds have been shoe-horned into two hours and twenty minutes of skilled musicianship, which is strung together with outfit changes and scene-setting footage from the era.

There’s little plot to anchor the songs, aside from screens which show original crowd footage of the hysteria which surrounded The Beatles at their height, as well as kitsch 60’s TV ads.

To be honest, I would have liked to have seen more of this accompanying the music, to show the context in which The Beatles penned their tracks, a time of great change. However, if the purpose of the show is to let the music speak for itself, then it achieves that objective with aplomb.

The musicians on stage were faultless and they put real passion into their performance.

In particular, Stephen Hill’s rendition of George Harrison’s While My Guitar Gently Weeps was beautifully executed.

Though there is little interaction with the crowd – aside from reciting some of Lennon’s cheekiest quips (“Would the people in the cheaper seats clap your hands. And the rest of you, if you’ll just rattle your jewellery”) – the band manage to engage the crowd with their sound.

Hey Jude was a triumphant piece which had the majority of the theatre swaying in tune.

I would have liked a little more musical for my money, but for a homage to The Beatles’ music in its purest form, this is top dollar.