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Saint Martin's Lane 85-88, London WC2N 4BG


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Closed February 16, 2012

Nuanced and compelling

The Stage

Why See Backbeat?



Written by Iain Softley and Stephen Jeffreys and directed by award-winning David Leveaux, Backbeat is an adaptation of Softley's 1994 film with the same name, is about the birth of the Beatles but focuses on the fifth, 'lost' Beatle, Stuart Sutcliffe. Dark and touching, this play with music is carefully crafted and surprisingly fresh, with a set that using sliding stages and panels and a projected video montage of striking paintings and imagery. Rather than another jukebox collective of Beatles' songs, Backbeat features a blazing score of rock 'n' roll classics, the covers that comprised the band's early sets, including 'Twist and Shout', 'Long Tall Sally', 'Money', 'Please Mr Postman' and 'Rock 'n' Roll Music'.


Backbeat tells of the Beatles' formative years, when five young Liverpudlian men - John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Pete Best and Stuart Sutcliffe ? came together. Playing rock 'n' roll covers in the seedy bars of Reeperbahn, Hamburg's red light district, Sutcliffe falls in love with German photographer Astrid Kirchherr, a romance that soon becomes a tangle of jealousy, conflict and questionable loyalties between Sutcliffe, his best friend Lennon and Kirchherr.

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Additional Information


Previews from: 24 September 2011

Opening night: 10 October 2011


Backbeat is suitable for all audiences.

And before you stop reading

10 Oct 19:00

Cast and Creative


Nick Blood as Stuart Sutcliffe
Andrew Knott as John Lennon
Ruta Gedmintas as Astrid Kirchherr
Daniel Healy as Paul Mccartney
William Payne as George Harrison
Oliver Bennett as Pete Best
Adam Sopp as Tony Sheridan / Ringo Starr
Dominic Rouse as Klaus Voorman
Ben Fox as Arthur Ballard / Bert Kaempfert
James Wallace as George Martin


Co-written by Iain Softley & Stephen Jeffreys
Musical Direction - Paul Stacey
Director - David Leveaux

What you thought

6 reviews, average rating: (4.2 Stars)

4.0 star rating

P Mason: “Loved it!”

Went to see it this week and had a great night out. The music was awesome,... more

Sean Perrin: “Terrific Show”

I went into the theatre expecting to see a silly but enjoyable musical.... more

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