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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
So, let’s get started!
WHAT’S THE ADMIRALPALAST?
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.
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?
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?
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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:
- Frankenstein – Reversed Cast on: 27.11.14.
- John. on: 08.01.15.
- Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson on: 22.01.15.
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!
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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