Backbeat Confirms Early Closure at West End's Duke of York's; Producer Announces Plans for Toronto Opening

News   Backbeat Confirms Early Closure at West End's Duke of York's; Producer Announces Plans for Toronto Opening
Backbeat, the stage version of the 1994 film of the same name about the birth of the Beatles, will shutter Feb. 18, 2012, at the West End's Duke of York's Theatre. It was originally booking through March 24.

The show opened Oct. 10, following previews that began Sept. 24, so it will have run for just under five months in total. According to a press statement, there are currently plans underway for David Mirvish to transfer the production to Toronto, Canada, during the summer of 2012.

Karl Sydow, the show's producer, commented, "I am enormously proud to have brought Backbeat to London and look forward to working with David Mirvish to take this great production to Canada next year." Mirvish added, "We are very excited to be bringing Backbeat to audiences here in Canada next summer."

First seen at Glasgow’s Citizen’s Theatre in 2010, it is co-written by Iain Softley (who directed and co-wrote the film) and playwright Stephen Jeffreys, and is directed by David Leveaux (Broadway revivals of Nine and Fiddler on the Roof, and most recently represented on Broadway by his production of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia that originated in the West End).

The show tells the story of "how The Beatles ‘became’ The Beatles – when John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Pete Best and Stuart Sutcliffe (the fifth Beatle) embarked on their journey from the famous docks of Liverpool to search for success in the seedy red light district of Hamburg. All time rock ‘n’ roll classics that the Beatles cut their teeth with – ‘Twist & Shout’, ‘Rock & Roll Music’, ‘Long Tall Sally’ ‘Please Mr. Postman’ and ‘Money’ - are all performed live on stage in Backbeat."

Charting the triangular relationship between the band’s original bassist Stuart Sutcliffe, the striking German photographer Astrid Kirchherr with whom he fell in love, and his best friend John Lennon, the show focuses on Stuart’s struggle between his best friend and the band, Astrid and his art. He died, aged only 22, in the same year that the Beatles appointed Brian Epstein as manager, signed to Parlophone Records by Sir George Martin, and released their first single "Love Me Do." The cast features 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 and Oliver Bennett as Pete Best. Also in the cast are Adam Sopp as Tony Sheridan/Ringo Starr, Dominic Rouse as Klaus Voorman, Ben Fox as Arthur Ballard and Bert Kaempfer and James Wallace as Sir George Martin.

To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 871 7623, or visit

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