You’re not British if you haven’t walked down Abbey Road, Penny Lane, and Strawberry Fields, with Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds!

A Hard Days' Night - The Beatles.
A Hard Days’ Night – The Beatles.

If you’re here for the first time, let me just start by introducing myself.

Hi! My name is Victoria.

I was named after the Queen. Not that Queen. The other one!

I was born and grew up in the suburbs of a most famous and historical city called Manchester.

The suburban rivers of ye olde Manchester at the Bridge Canal.
The suburban rivers of ye olde Manchester at the Bridge Canal.

Manchester is in England and when you think of England you think of icons like King Henry VIII, The British Empire, David Bowie, and of course, The Beatles.

The Beatles may come from Liverpool, but you can’t have everything can you!

A few months ago, I wrote a piece on how to be British and even though I live in the amazing city of Berlin, I do sometimes get homesick.

Yep!

Afternoon Tea.
Afternoon Tea.

I sometimes miss dandelion and burdock, buttercups, and daffodils, cups of tea with delicate cupcakes and sandwiches. English butties smothered with chunky bits of marmalade filled with the rind and zest of oranges, that gives thickly sliced bread that extra bit of Oompf!

The Police with the lead singer - Sting.
The Police with the lead singer – Sting.

I sometimes miss walking along the Manchester canal surrounded by gentrified gastro-pubs that used to be working men pubs. Pubs filled with underaged kids either wearing tightly ripped jeans and second-hand leather jackets, or listening to the 70’s post-punk music of The Police, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Smiths, and The Cure.

Adam and the Ants in 1981.
Adam and the Ants in 1981.

I sometimes miss the bunch of English kids all wearing creamy-white shirts with ruffles, fancy glam Jodhpur pants, large hair, and a huge amount of make-up. Kids listening to the 1980’s New Romantics of David Bowie, and falling in love with Bryan Ferry of Roxy Music. I still love the man even after all these years, as well as Adam and the Ants, Culture Club, Spandau Ballet, and Duran Duran.

Oasis - Liam and Noel Gallagher.
Oasis – Liam and Noel Gallagher.

I definitely miss the 90’s we’re-back-on-top-Britpop independent music scene era of singing in regional British accents, with lyrics and images of British places, culture, fashion and food, and the troublesome local Oasis boys from Manchester.

I actually met Noel once, on a side-street with Meg Mathews in Paris! He signed my diary in lipstick as I didn’t have a pen!

I still have the diary!

The young band - Blur - with their lead singer Damon Albarn. Damon later went on to form the  virtual band -  Gorillaz.
The young band – Blur – with their lead singer Damon Albarn. Damon later went on to form the virtual band – Gorillaz.

Blur, The Verve, Pulp, Skunk Anansie (I love that edgy girl – Skin), Supergrass, Placebo, Elastica, Suede, The Prodigy, and the Spice Girls. I miss them so much that sometimes I want to cry!

Those were the days!

The days when Britain rode that wave of alternative poprock and before moving into the mainstream, forming that cultural movement called Cool Britannia.

Cool Britannia!
Cool Britannia!

But of course, none of this would have happened without the grandfathers of British rockpop. That’s right, none of this would have happened without those four (4) young working class boys from Liverpool.

The 4 young men known as The Beatles.
The 4 young men known as The Beatles.

Those boys later to be known as The Beatles.

Just two weeks ago, I went to a musical performance and smash-hit tour of a Beatles-Revival production show called Let It Be.

I found out about them because I saw a poster a couple of months ago, so I contacted the Berlin venue, who put me in touch with the European promoters, who very kindly offered me two complimentary press tickets.

I was very excited!

Let It Be - The Musical.
Let It Be – The Musical.

So, let’s get started!

I watched Let It Be at one of Berlin’s oldest theatre venues: the Admiralspalast.

WHAT’S THE ADMIRALPALAST?

The Admiralspalast in 1940. © Berliner Morgenpost 2014.
The Admiralspalast in 1940.
© Berliner Morgenpost 2014.

The Admiralspalast or the Admirals Palace, is a theatre in the “Mitte” district of Berlin. Mitte is now known as the East End and the Broadway area of Berlin. It’s also part of Berlin’s hip nightlife quarter so if you’re looking for the theatre land of Berlin, all you have to do is walk.

Opened in 1909, it was one of the locations of the glamour set and a major contribution to the distinctive cultural image of the jazz years in Berlin during the roaring twenties, and the early swinging thirties. The golden twenties resulted in the wonderful artistic spread of revues, cabarets, dancing halls, and variety shows, before that world and everything in it, was destroyed by Hitler in 1933.

Now one of the last few preserved variety venues of the pre-World War II era, the Admiralspalast originally included a skating rink, a luxury spa and swimming pool, and a 24 hour cinema! After the Second World War, the Admiralspalast became the venue of the State Opera and during the Soviet occupation in 1946, became a theatre under the watchful eye of the Communist Party.

A beautiful piece of the Admiralspalast in Berlin.
A beautiful piece of the Admiralspalast in Berlin.

Thankfully, the very beautiful Admiralspalast suffered very little damage from the various wars and so after the Berlin Wall Fell in 1989, the Admiralspalast once again became an exclusive venue for art and entertainment.

WHAT’S LET IT BE?

An acoustic scene at Let It Be.  Photo@ Paul Coltas
An acoustic scene at Let It Be.
Photo@ Paul Coltas

Let It Be is a British West End production that was based at the Garrick Theatre in London.If you recall, the last time I went to London, I went to another musical at the Sadler’s Well Theatre in London called – The Merchants of Bollywood. Anyway, Let It Be had such a successful summer that they decided to take their show on the road with a rocking European tour across Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Italy!

Last week, I told you how lucky we are in Berlin, that we can still watch such amazing British performances without actually having to go to the English capital! And to make it even more interesting, you don’t even have to be in Berlin, you can also be in Munich (Germany), Linz and Vienna (Austria), and Zürich (in Switzerland).

Not only that but Let It Be are also going to be touring 2015 in Canada and New Zealand!

WHAT DOES THE SHOW’S NAME MEAN?

At the Liverpool club called the Cavern - Let It Be. Photo@ Paul Coltas
At the Liverpool club called the Cavern – Let It Be.
Photo@ Paul Coltas

Let It Be is a jam-packed performance of over forty (40), of The Beatles’ greatest hits. It’s the story of the boys meteoric rise from their humble working class beginnings in Liverpool at the Cavern Club, to their discovery in Hamburg Germany, and the life-changing height of Beatlemania, and studio masterpieces.

We even got to see live black and white performances of early tracks of songs such as Twist and Shout, She Loves You, and Drive My Car, as well as global mega-hits from Yesterday, Hey Jude, Come Together, and of course, Let It Be!

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - Let It Be. Photo@ Brinkhoff Moegenburg.
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – Let It Be.
Photo@ Brinkhoff Moegenburg.

My favourite bits were tracks, images, and performances from the colourful, psychedelic album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It was and is, my favourite Beatles album although as a little girl I couldn’t understand why they kept singing about a girl called Lucy with diamonds, and tangerines and marmalade. Lucy was the name of my favourite raggedy doll you see!

Imagine a throwback of the recovering 1950’s of Britain.

Imagine the dingy clubs and pubs that each and every artist has to go through.

Imagine the colourful images of love, freedom, and flowers.

Imagine the rush of knowing that you were in the middle of something new, important, and so “it”.

Imagine starting a musical revolution, breaking stereotypes, and putting your country on the world musical map.

A poster of the Ed Sullivan show in America.
A poster of the Ed Sullivan show in America.

Image going to America, on the Ed Sullivan show, and every other important show on the planet.

I mean, imagine young teenage girls fainting and crying.

Imagine young teenage boys fainting and crying!

Imagine people pulling your hair. storming your hotel, squashing and shoving your car.

Imagine the fame, the noise, and the love.

Ladies and Gentlemen. I present to you the story of The Beatles!

Ra! Ra! Ra!

Screaming teenaged boys and girls!
Screaming teenaged boys and girls!

At the end of the evening, we were all standing and cheering. A few people were even dancing! Let me tell you, this is a feat. It’s difficult to get a German audience to clap their hands to the beat, not to talk of shaking a little.

This performance was a triumph!

"Paul" and "George" at  Let It Be. Photo@ Paul Coltas.
“Paul” and “George” at Let It Be.
Photo@ Paul Coltas.

DO I NEED TO UNDERSTAND GERMAN TO WATCH IT?

Not in the least!

There were a few moments when the audience didn’t understand the jokes of the performers as they spoke in “real” English with Scouser (Liverpool) accents, but with a few waves of the arms, and a couple of “Come On’s’,” the audience began to understand what was requested, and to warm up.

The show is excellent for an international audience, as you just need to know the lyrics and singalong. And singalong we did!

"Ringo" on the drums - Let It Be. Photo@ Paul Coltas
“Ringo” on the drums – Let It Be.
Photo@ Paul Coltas

MY VERDICT?

A stunning success!

Let It Be is a family friendly (albeit not for very young children), musical production.

If you love lavish entertainment, music, dance, and cabaret, in the wonderful setting of Germany’s capital city – Berlin, then the Admiralspalast is an excellent location.

Let It Be is a performance worth going to in either Europe, North America, or New Zealand!

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - Let It Be.  Photo@ Paul Coltas
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – Let It Be. Photo@ Paul Coltas

Because if you’re a Beatles fan you can:

  • Be extremely close to (depending on your ticket), an entertaining musical production.
  • Be enthralled by the scenery and story of The Beatles.
  • Travel back to the magical sixties when all you needed was love, and a little help from your friends.
  • Imagine that you’re actually there, and judging by the mixed audience age-group, I think some of the audience were actually there!
  • Come early and wander around one of the largest theatre stages in Berlin.
  • Be a part of history and imagine yourself back in the fifties and sixties of Beatlemania.
God Save the Queen in Cool Britannia!
God Save the Queen in Cool Britannia!

WHAT IF LET IT BE REALLY ISN’T MY CUP OF TEA?

Not to worry. Keep reading my blog. There is more to come!

Let It Be was only in Berlin for a fast-paced six (6) days but you can still catch them in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Italy until 07.12.14, so get your tickets soon!

Tickets for Let It Be are at various prices around Europe, and can be bought online here.

Approximate running time: A little under 3 hours, including a 20 minute interval.

For more information about the show, please contact: Let It Be.

For more information about the venue, please contact: the Admiralspalast in Berlin.

Images of Cool Britannia with absolutely everybody LOL!  @Debbiefm
Images of Cool Britannia with absolutely everybody LOL!
@Debbiefm

This article is not sponsored and even though I received a complimentary ticket, all opinions and the delicious champagne that I wonderfully drank, are my very own!

I have so much to share with you so next week I will be returning to our adventures in Indonesia, and Qatar!

Christmas is coming, with more exclusive productions, and merry-making at German Xmas Markets. Yay!

Additional National Theatre Live productions are also coming up and can be seen at the Cinestar Berlin – Original such as:

For the rest of the year, Berlin will be celebrating and marking the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall.

November is going to be a blast!

Watch this space!

The Abbey Road Zebra Crossing.
The Abbey Road Zebra Crossing.

Have you walked down the Abbey Road in London? What is your favourite Beatles track? Would you watch a dazzling musical such as Let It Be?

See you in Berlin.

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43 thoughts on “You’re not British if you haven’t walked down Abbey Road, Penny Lane, and Strawberry Fields, with Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds!

    1. I hear ya. LOL! My mum is an Elvis fan. I only liked him when he was slim and good-looking. I completely went off him by the time he went to Vegas!
      I looooove Beauty and the Beast. I had my finger on the buzzer when the DVD came out 10 years after the initial distribution. I’ve now got two versions. Let me know how it goes. It’s Xmas and all that!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep! I figured it was the perfect way to ease myself into the silly season! I just love it 🙂 My dad is an Elvis only fan – it would have felt like a betrayal going to see ‘Let it Be’ 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I loved all listed (especially Bryan Ferry) except for Spice Girls…never understood the hype! I still remember the day John got shot. I had matinee tickets for Dreamgirls and was skipping the last lecture of the day to catch it. I remember my friend Alimah crying, l don’t know if l did or not. We were so shocked we never made it to the show, and l still haven’t seen it, stage or movie. This show sounds good, 3 hours though? A little too long.. 🙂 …unless of course they left the best songs till the end!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you kemkem. Bryan Ferry is one of my all time favourites. I love him. His looks, his moves, his….! But the Spice Girls are MY girls. The songs were awful but whatever. I’ll tell you what I want. What I really, really want. Giiiiirl power! 🙂

      I remember perfectly when John Lennon died. On my birthday! I was very upset on so many levels. 😦

      Yeah, the show was about 2.5 hours as the 20 minute break was necessary to rush to the bathroom, AND have a glass of wine and a snack. But we skipped on the snack as we had earlier devoured champagne and pizza!

      Like

  2. Wow, the first part of the post read SO British, like every British music-related cliche come to live, only it was ok bc you were the one saying it 🙂 It actually reminded me of the closing ceremony of the London Olympics, which was a big mashup of the Brit 20th century musical heritage. Do you know what I’m talking about?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Anna, I appreciate the trust LOL! They really were my childhood loves and they varied over time as I was a bit of a nerd. I was Head-Girl in my primary school and I also used to play the clarinet and was even in the school orchestra and choir! By the time the 90’s arrived, I needed to go wild, change the colour of my hair (it was pink!), and go hard-core clubbing. It was MY time. We even used to dance at the Ministry of Sound in London, hang out in illegal raves, and go to all the gay clubs in London. It was marvellous!!
      That’s why I cry! We were young, making history, and we knew it!

      Like

  3. let it be is one of my favorite songs! I have only spent 1 day in London so I definitely need to go back to do everything you mentioned inc afternoon tea which I do anywhere I can. I spent my first ten years in Jamaica so there is a lot of British customs that remain. I am also a child of the 80’s so Culture Club and Duran Duran-big fans! I saw the cirque show “Love” in Las Vegas as a Beatles fan and truly enjoyed it. Let it Be sounds so entertaining! Glad you got to see it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, Afternoon Tea is the best and if you’re of Jamaican origin, all those colonial hotels would be amazing. Where are you based now?
      I haven’t seen a cirque show yet but “Love” sounds as fab as “Let It Be” and the good old days of Culture Club, Duran Duran, and Human League. They don’t make ’em as they used to. Sob!

      Like

  4. Let it Be is one of my favorite songs and I am a big Beatles fan! I saw the Cirque show “Love” in Las Vegas and it was great. I have only spent 1 day in London so I need to get back to do all the things you mentioned especially since I love afternoon tea! And I am a child of the 80s so loved Duran Duran and Culture Club! I’m glad you got to see the show. It sounds very entertaining!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This sounds like such a fun night out! And I loved your ode to England as well—you know it’s one of my favorite countries in the world. 🙂 I actually stopped briefly in Manchester for one night a decade ago, but sadly didn’t get to see much of the city. It’s always portrayed as being quite gritty and working class, but it looks like it is well worth a visit in its own right. Plus, with all those Oasis ties, clearly I need to make a proper pilgrimage! (I am seriously SO JEALOUS that you got to meet Noel. Why did all I get in Paris was my wallet stolen?!?)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Steph, it really was!
      I know that you’re a really good fan of England and your lovely posts reflect that wonderfully. There are a few negative write-ups about the high prices and cost of things in Britain but whatever, so thank you my lovely. 🙂
      Manchester is such a grand city and as any, it has two (2) sides. The gritty, working class side sits very well as it adds to the old industrialized image of coal, spinning wheels, and football. And indeed Northerners are a different breed of people. Many being plain and true. But not all of us. There are also many upper middle class families like myself who love and lived in the leafy suburbs of Manchester and moved later to Cheshire. To us, Manchester was “the city!”

      All my family live in Chesire hence the horses, the rivers, and rugby. It also explains why although I grew up in the North, I have a posh Southern accent as a result of my Independent school (British) or private school (American) education!

      Come back to Manchester love as it’s become quite the place, and is quickly catching up with London. 🙂 🙂

      Like

  6. Can you believe I went to London and did NOT walk down Abbey Road? What a shame.

    This sounds like a great show! I remember listening to the Beatles as a child in the US and then finding out that they were insanely popular still in present-day South Korea. Their music is timeless and spans across generations and the world!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much Chanel, but What a shame! You’ve got to do that the next time you go. When we took our son to London for the first time, he was eight (8) years old. I went shopping on Regent Street and my husband took our son to the Abbey Road. My husband showed him the musical sights and then they took that walk.
      “The Tall Young Gentleman” was terribly impressed. He didn’t really understand what the fuss was all about, but he was happy to walk across a few more hundred times LOL!

      It muat have been insane to find out that the love of The Beatles is alive and well in the Far East! Amazing! Thank you readers, if you live in South Korea, Taiwan, or Japan!

      Like

  7. Very cool. I’m more of a fan of the post punk era such as the Smiths, Ministry, the Cure, and all the new wave that came out of that era.

    I hate to say this but I’m just not a Beatles fan. As a metal head into more powerful music I would have been listening to Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, and Led Zep during that era, and I still do. I can appreciate the Beatles as musicians though, but they are too poppy to me. I hate pop music and top 40.

    Don’t hate me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Phil! Yeah, I went through the punk thing for a little while. I even had red hair at one point, and pink, and blonde! Yeah, that was interesting. It turned out ginger! But it wasn’t really my thing lol!

      Bowie yes. The Who, Status Quo, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. Oh yes. Even sadly, Gary Glitter! Black Sabbath in their heyday, was way too dark for my world.

      I like singing so the 80’s was brilliant and by the time the 90’s came along, I was a hard-core clubber and it was all about the dance clubs, and a different type of poprock. It wasn’t all ice-cream and barbies (ahem), but britpop certaintly hit a nerve as far as my generation were concerned.

      And I don’t hate yer Phil. You’re alright!

      Like

  8. Wonderful, I didn’t know they do a tour around Europe. I went to the show in London a few months ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. I also went to Liverpool to check out the Beatles Story museum and the Cavern a couple of weeks ago 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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