Beatles tribute show cast announced after thousands audition

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Producers of forthcoming West End musical Let It Be have revealed they auditioned 2,500 people to find performers who could play The Beatles on stage.

The confirmed members of cast are Emanuele Angeletti, who will play Paul McCartney, Gordon Elsmore, who will perform as Ringo Starr, Reuven Gershon who will appear as John Lennon and Stephen Hill, starring as George Harrison. They will alternate the roles with John Brosnan, James Fox, Michael Gagliano, Ian B. Garcia and Phil Martin, while Michael Bramwell and Ryan Farmery will play the keyboard for some songs.

The West End cast of the show, which will begin its run in London next month, performed a showcase of songs yesterday to launch its opening.

Described as a "theatrical concert", the production will include a series of songs from British band The Beatles, but no specific storyline.

Producer Jamie Hendry added: "It's very media rich and contains a lot of video that includes original and re-created footage. It takes you through the era of The Beatles, but it is not a history lesson."

The production will see the four members of the cast performing as The Beatles and will follow the rise of the band starting with their appearance at the Royal Command Performance, touching on their time in New York and ending up at Abbey Road.

Hendry explained that auditioning for the roles was "tough" because the performers play live music throughout the show and he wanted musicians that could grasp the nuances of The Beatles.

He said: "We saw two and a half thousand people audition. We wanted raw talent. We weren't looking for celebrities or seasoned theatre musicians."

Hendry added that although Beatles shows have been staged in London before, Let It Be marks the first time that Sony/ATV have allowed the rights for The Beatles' songs to be used in a West End production.

Let It Be will run from September 14 to January 19, 2013 at the Prince of Wales Theatre.

It is produced by Jamie Hendry Productions, Annerin Productions, Rain Productions, BB Promotion, MagicSpace Entertainment & Julian Stoneman Associates.