Anne Hailes reviews Let it Be

Grand Opera House Belfast
until Saturday 14th June 2014

‘Let It Be’ is a glorious concert of Beatles music performed by four very talented musicians – a drummer who would put Ringo to shame – plus a multi-talented gentleman who stood in the shadows to one side and transformed his keyboard into a dozen different instruments. Over forty songs took us to memories we’d long forgotten. ‘This is my era,’ said one man in delight, he knew every word of every song and was transported back to his youth.

Another young man in the audience, I guess about 12 years of age, wasn’t just as taken, not fussed about standing up and waving his hands above his head, he just sat there yawning! But another young girl was totally captivated by the four handsome boys on stage and was happy to dance along with her mother.

I’ve long thought that very audience should have a cheer leader and we certainly had that on opening night, an exuberant man who was up giving it some welly with every song, much to the annoyance of the people behind him. But, with their usual sensitivity, the staff had a word during the interval and offered him a box where he could get a real close up view and enjoy the rest of the show. And he did and, from the box, he encouraged us all to join in and it was just another happy part of a very happy evening.


We started in the depth of the grey Cavern Club and ended on the roof of the Apple offices in Savile Row some seven years later with John Lennon saying, “I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves and I hope we passed the audition”, just as he did in 1968.

They certainly passed the audition and pleased their audience, many of them 64 at least! It ended with ‘Hey Jude‘ and by that time we were on our feet, red streamers had been shot up to the ceiling and come down round us and we were holding hands and singing along.

The company James Fox, (Paul) John Bosnan (Ringo), Ben Cullingworth (George) and Michael Gagliano (John) – I hope I’m correct but there is a company of twelve actors taking it in turns to perform this non-stop musical show. The boys have perfected the movements of the Beatles, their stance, the hair flicks, Ringo smoking a cigarette, George’s drooping mustache.

The production uses monitors around the theatre showing news footage of the time, Bobby Moore, the Viet Nam War, riots, TV ads, the space race, all interesting to this vintage audience. After the drab Cavern Club, the stage was filled with colour, psychedelic strobing effects, themes on pop artist Peter Blake’s Sgt. Pepper album cover and lights of all colours bounced off clouds of dry ice – all very effective.

Memories – ‘Here comes the Sun’ was the first time I heard stereo, ‘Blackbird’ was singing along with singer Charlie McGettigan when I was interviewing him in Enniskillen, ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ a big party singalong, damaging my back with ‘Twist and Shout’! The Beatles lyrics were often thoughtful especially ‘Try to See it My Way’ and the verse: Think of what you’re saying. You can get it wrong and still you think that it’s all right. Think of what I’m saying, We can work it out and get it straight, or say good night. Applies to a lot of situations.

Great night’s entertainment


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2 thoughts on “Anne Hailes reviews Let it Be

    Ste Hill

    (June 14, 2014 - 12:12 pm)

    Thank you for the great review! Just a pity you got All the names wrong! Credit where credits due!….tut

      Belfast Times

      (June 14, 2014 - 12:18 pm)

      Hey! Thanks….happy to change the names to the correct ones if you have them.

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