Theatre Review: Let It Be at the Orchard Theatre, by Jaye Nolan


Hello Dartford! Shouting and screaming is encouraged!

So is arm waving and clapping, hence my arms really ache and I’ve got sore palms.

We’re straight into The Cavern, and I Saw Her Standing There, as we gear up for a show that will take us through the Beatles hits that spanned over a decade.

There’s an energy in live music that you just don’t get from recordings, and I found myself forgetting I was supposed to be reviewing the show and let the music carry me away. Yesterday, in particular, was hauntingly beautiful, even more so as the audience harmoniously supplied the backing vocals.

The four musicians playing the Beatles (Emanuele Angeletti/Paul Canning/Paul Mannion/Stuart Wilkinson) are polished and professional, capturing the essence of each one, and ably supported by keyboardist Michael Bramwell. For someone who never had the privilege of seeing the most famous band in the world live, this is the closest I’ll get. The energy on stage is mirrored by the audience, eager to be as involved as possible.

‘John’ played around, keeping the banter going with the audience in between the catalogue of songs that seemed never ending. Although there was some narration of pertinent times in the band’s life, it never left us hanging on for more tunes, they just kept coming.

Finishing touring in 1966, they went into the studio and came out with Sgt.Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, at which point the stage became a psychedelic fantasy, before the graphics took us through the era of Vietnam and on into flower power. Was there ever a worse decade for fashion than the 70s? Don’t you dare say the 80s!

The band were in no rush to finish their set, and we got not one, but two encores. Firstly a phone-lit Let It Be, before finishing with the anthemic Hey Jude.

If a night of wallowing in the nostalgia of yesteryear is your choice for an evening out, this is a must. Even if not a Beatles fan, there’s enough here that you’ll know and can’t fail to sing along with, from the pop goodness of She Loves You, through the irresistible Twist and Shout to the folky Here Comes The Sun.

Let It Be is on at the Orchard Theatre, Dartford until Saturday, July 2.

Visit for details.

Getting there: The Orchard Theatre is located right next door to Dartford Rail Station, a couple of minutes walk across the footbridge. For drivers, parking at the station car park costs just £1.50 for the evening after 6pm.