Theatre Review: LET IT BE – Opera House, Manchester


The cast of LET IT BE UK Tour. Photo Credit: Anthony Robling

LET IT BE charts The Beatles’ meteoric rise from their humble beginnings to the heights of Beatlemania

Billed as “The Beatles reunion you never got to see”, LET IT BE is a nostalgic romp through The Beatles’ discography.

This is not your typical jukebox musical. Where the likes of We Will Rock You or Mamma Mia might cobble together a tenuous plot, or Jersey Boys and Cilla tell the story of the act they’re paying tribute to, LET IT BE relies on no such thing, and there is little to no scripted dialogue. The show relies entirely on the performances of these classic Beatles songs, with nothing else to carry it along, and as a result, it often feels like there’s little to keep the audience invested.

The show offers a cornucopia of all the most well known hits, so even the most casual listener will find something they’re familiar with. “Paul McCartney”’s (Emanuele Angeletti) performance of YESTERDAY is a highlight of the first Act, as Angeletti is one of the more accomplished vocalists of the group. WHEN I’M SIXTY FOUR was one of the most well received numbers in the show, with almost everyone singing along. John Brosnan brings an endearing energy to George Harrison, and really has some stand out performances in Act 2. Michael Gagliano is a joker as John Lennon, and IMAGINE is as poignant and relevant as ever. Finally, Ben Cullingworth as Ringo Starr, aptly doesn’t get many shining moments, but when he does they are a lot of fun. Every member of this band is an extremely talented musician, and it’s the little details, such as Angeletti playing his bass left handed, that really set them apart.

LET IT BE is essentially a tribute act, or even an impersonation. It doesn’t provide any character analysis or tell their story, and as a result sometimes feels flat and soulless. You wonder if it’s a case of playing the same set for six years, but many audience members seemed to love it, twisting and shouting along. Then again, who can resist singing along to HEY JUDE? Many of the songs seemed lacking in energy, and possibly needed more charismatic performers to carry them along.

If all you want is to see Beatles songs performed live, then you’ll have a great night out at LET IT BE. If you’re wanting something a little more, this probably isn’t the show for you.

3 out of 5 stars

LET IT BE runs at the Opera House, Manchester until 27 October 2018.