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Review: Lennon at The Royal Court theatre, Liverpool

by Chris High. Published Thu 29 Aug 2013 08:55

As easily as the words “legend” and “icon” can be attached to John Lennon, so can the words “troubled” and, simply, “difficult". To get these many facets of the man’s personality so clearly across in a two hour show, then, is no mean feat but Bob Eaton and this quite outstanding cast have managed to do this with style, wit and a great deal of talent.

Eaton’s musical tribute is, for the first act, largely made up of music rather than narrative but from the moment John Power steps on stage in his white suit and familiar round glasses, the audience are spellbound by the attention to detail the former Cast singer has invested in his portrayal. This is not, by any means, an impersonation but is rather observational interpretation at its finest and is very close to being worth the ticket price alone.

Yet it is not only Power who excels, as Mark Newnham totally nails the angst of the young Lennon, whereas Tom Connor is so suited to the role of Paul McCartney many might well be forgiven for thinking that The Royal Court have pulled a flanker and actually signed the real Macca on for the run.

This is a show that is so balanced in its light-heartedness and poignancy – particularly with regards to the more-or-less abandonment of Cynthia, played beautifully here by Jessica Dyas, and pinpointed by a heart-wrenchingly powerful You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away – it never comes across as putting Lennon on a pedestal, but instead accentuates the flaws and achievements equally.

Musical highlights are, as might be expected, numerous but the stand out is the cut back fusion of A Day In The Life and Help, which makes you wish the band themselves had recorded the songs in this way.

Aided by a simple set with a big screen to help the audience keep a sense of time and place, this production of Lennon could easily fit into any theatre anywhere in the world and underlines that what is happening her at The Royal Court in Lennon’s home city of Liverpool is something which the great man would be so immensely proud.

A truly phenomenal show that deserves to be seen again and again and again.

Click rating: ***** Excellent!

The Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool
August 24 – September 14
Author / Director: Bob Eaton
Producer: Royal Court Liverpool
Cast: John Power, Mark Newnham, Tom Connor, Adam Keast, Jessica Dyas, Kirsten Foster, Jonathan Markwood.
Running Time: 2 hrs 15 mins.


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"i missed the john lennon show.will it be back on ???" lawrence, liverpool around 1 year, 10 months ago

"a really great show " Julie Boyd, wigan around 1 year, 11 months ago

"Fantastic show. Truley loved the performances. But would have loved more funding for this fantastic show to really give the feeling of 1960" Blanaid MacCann, Waterford Ireland around 1 year, 11 months ago

"The whole performs was brilliant , the story line was realistic to his life story music was just brilliant made you want to dance i" Mrs S Williams , North liverpool around 1 year, 11 months ago

"Brilliant show. Outstanding performance. The cast were superb and captured the mood perfectly. Very cleverly done. Highly recommend." Mark Rodgers, Liverpool around 1 year, 11 months ago

"Outstanding show! Fabulous talent from every performer. If you get a chance to see it grab it." Pat MacKenzie, North Wales around 1 year, 11 months ago

"loved the show..the girls in the audience shed a tear when John was shot....was he a hero or a villain? see the show and decide" heather, coventry around 1 year, 11 months ago

"Poor review of a great show doesn't not even list the whole cast.No mention of the other two 'beatles' or that all music was played live!" Charlie Geogheghan, Liverpool around 1 year, 11 months ago

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