Nick Blood (photo credit: Nobby Clark)
friends start band, band becomes successful, life starts to get real
Backbeat is and is not the Beatles
by Dave Ross
Backbeat: The Birth of the Beatles is in dire need of a new name. Admittedly, calling it Stuart Sutcliffe, the Beatles and the Conflict That Took Place At The Same Time The Beatles Were Born doesn’t have quite the same ring, but let’s not beat around the bush. The Beatles themselves are almost secondary characters in this show. But that’s actually ok.
the ensemble does an excellent job of portraying several different characters each
The cast is remarkably talented. All the music is performed live, and all the principal actors deliver excellent performances. It’s easy for musical covers to come across as lucklustre, but there is a wonderful energy here and also tenderness when the tone calls for it. None of the principals are caricatures, but deliver well-rounded characters. The ensemble does a great job as well, with a couple of minor exceptions. The German MC (who is clearly Cabaret-inspired and makes far too many appearances) is just shy of incredibly irritating, made all the more unbearable by his absolutely intolerable German accent. Indeed, many of the German accents could benefit with additional practice. All of the Cabaret-esque moments seem out of place and jarring. Setting aside the accents though, the ensemble does an excellent job of portraying several different characters each, with no bleed amongst them.
Backbeat continues at the Royal Alex