A world without The Beatles.
A horrifying thought for sure. What if John, Paul, George, and Ringo never found their calling? What would today look like without the musical progression of these “long-haired louts”? I can’t imagine what the world would be like but it would certainly be nothing like today.
The director’s image of modern life without The Beatles doesn’t go in depth about the repercussions—which would be difficult to do considering how big an influence they were on many musicians, amateur and elite, not to mention creatives in all streams, and the everyman. Maybe I’m talking them up a bit much, but you have to remember that this group was a rock and roll revolution for their time.1 Dany Boyle (Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire) did however show that the world would be incomprehensibly different by removing some of the biggest staples of Modernity.
In a world much like our own, Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) finds himself being had on by all of his friends, playing a Beatles classic ‘Yesterday’ and being praised for his inventive genius. And what would any reasonable man do in his situation? He agonises over whether he should take credit for the music, not once considering keeping it to himself. And so, Jack’s journey begins, along with his manager Ellie (Lily James) and his unlikely supporter Ed Sheeran. But fame has never been Jack’s dream and it soon becomes too much. He’s losing Ellie and if Ellie is the cost of fame, who would want to be famous?
Patel is well suited to playing Malik, the down and out musician and his pained facial expressions really make the character authentic. Malik’s struggles as a musician quickly turn around with a little help from his friends and an impressive exercise in memory, recalling every word to songs such as ‘Strawberry Fields” and “Eleanor Rigby” and revealing them to the world.
A sweet British film, Yesterday reminds us of the power and influence of music, while also showing us a side to Ed I still don’t believe. Staying reasonably true to the music minus the butchering of ‘Hey Jude’ (thanks Ed) and a change of pace, the film is a fun response to The Beatles legacy and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a easy-going and fun rom-com.
Words by Kayla Gaskell
The opening night of the Fringe Festival was, inevitably, hectic. Bustling and hustling, the people of Adelaide and their guests hurried to the city for their festival fix.
As I approached the venue, the line for the show reached around the block. I was amazed at the turn out, and I was also intrigued. Being 20, I was by far the youngest in the crowd, which made me even more eager for what was to come. The ambience of the spectators was vibrantly excited. Chatter echoed across the hall, and in my seat from the balcony, I could observe from above. As I had never experienced being alive at the same time as Lennon, this was my chance to come as close as I ever could be to seeing him live.
From beginning to end, I was enraptured. Through intimate first-person narration interspersed with iconic songs, John Waters portrayed a perfect John Lennon. With only a piano and a guitar as their set, John Waters and Stewart D’Arrietta performed breathtakingly. Experiencing the duo at work was truly inspiring, the two musicians a brilliant combination. The show combined an amazing harmony of lyrics and gentle piano work to briefly bring Lennon back to life. The songs from times past transported the onlooker to a time of leather and denim, peace and war.
A minimalist set gave them the opportunity to utilise their instruments without any over the top theatrics. Coloured lighting engaged the audience to create subtle emotional overtones from angst to patriarchy. Mist from the special effects acted as a grainy screen, mimicking an old television set. This simplicity allowed an entire focus on the music.
Through the two-hour show, the two performers laid prostrate Lennon’s childhood, raw humanity, and his inner thoughts. Gloriously heart-felt, the show aroused a vast array of emotions throughout everyone watching.
In a crowd of many, the act still felt very intimate and emotional. Waters and D’Arrietta took the songs that you’ve always known and turned them into an experience to behold. With the audience clapping along to classics such as ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’, and ‘Imagine’, it was hard not to burst into song along with them.
The show emotes passion and nostalgia in a way that nothing else does. If you can catch it while it is still showing, please go and see Lennon, Through a Glass Onion.
Words by Sarah Ingham.
Lennon Through a Glass Onion is playing Sunday, February 17. Tickets available here.