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There’s much more to Stephen Jeffrey and Iain Softley’s adaptation (of the latter’s 1994 film) than just a string of cover songs.

Set in the early 60’s – when Pete Best was on drums and the Fab Four were still five, rock’n’rolling in a sleazy Hamburg nightclub whilst bedding down in a local cinema.

The play centres on the conflicting triangular relationship between Andrew Knott’s acerbically witty and jealous John Lennon, his art school friend Stuart Sutcliffe (a talented artist but limited bass player) and Astrid Kirchherr, the young German photographer whose love seduced Stu away from the world of music.

Played out against a background of grainy projections, David Leveaux’s production proves unexpectedly involving, with Nick Blood torn and troubled as the Beatle who didn’t live long enough to witness the global phenomenon his Liverpudlian bandmates were destined to become.

Duke of York’s, St Martin’s Lane, WC2N 4BG
0844 871 7623
Tube: Charing Cross / Leicester Square
Until March 24

- Louise Kingsley


Backbeat, Duke of York's
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