Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool
Writer / Director: Bob Eaton
Producer: Royal Court Liverpool
Music al Director: Howard Gray
Set Design: Billy Meall
Cast: John Power, Mark Newnham, Nicky Swift, Tom Connor, Kirsten Foster, Adam Keast, Ross Higginson, Jonathan Markwood, Daniel McIntyre, Ross Higginson
Running Time: 2hrs 25 mins
It is extremely difficult to comment on show that has already reached such iconic status in Liverpool, following several sell out runs over the past four or five years. Yet, despite the frequency of its return, Bob Eaton’s Lennon remains a magical tribute to one of the city’s favourite sons.
The acting ,particularly that of Cast and La’s front man, John Power, who made his debut in the role in 2013 to great acclaim, and of Mark Newnham as the young Lennon, is exemplary and captures perfectly the naive young man who went onto become something more than merely cynical of the world in which he had become immersed.
Superb too are Tom Connor, who’s faultless portrayal of Paul McCartney – head-wobbles et al – defies description, and Nicky Swift who returns to the main role, amongst others, as Cynthia Lennon. Indeed, it is Swift who renders one of the most poignant moments of the show with an impeccable version of You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away. A further highlight is the duel version of Power’s A Day in the Life, mixed superbly with Newnham’s cut back version of Help, which adds depth and emotion to the news of Brian Epstein’s suicide that other shows fail to capture.
The set design – seemingly simple to the eye but nevertheless complex in the way it needs to provide room for the actors / musicians to perform – takes the eye almost as an extra character and never more so than during the famous Bed In sequence, as the big screen at the back displays images of the event, really comes into its own.
As timeless and legendary as its subject matter, Lennon remains a must see show no matter how many times it may have been seen before.