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The stage adaptation of the film Backbeat telling the story of the early days of The Beatles prior to going global will be coming to the Duke of Yorks theatre this autumn after first being shown at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow in 2010.

The story is set in Hamburg where the Beatles went in the early 60's and tells the story on the "fifth" beatle, Stu Sutcliffe who was John Lennon's best friend from Art college back in Liverpool.  Not much of a musician, Sutcliffe struggled to perform the rock and roll numbers that the Beatles were playing in the seedy clubs of Hamburg.  He then met photographer Astrid Kircherr and fell in love leading him to sell his guitar and leave the group but not before Astrid cut the Beatles hair in their now iconic mop top style and took some of the most famous photographs of the Beatles from that era.  His role in the group and relationship led to dissension with the other members as Sutcliffe was obviously much more committed to his art and Astrid then the group.

The play has been written by the film's writer/director Ian Softley and Stephen Jeffries and the West End production will be directed by David Leveaux, whose directorial credits include Jumpers, Fiddler On The Roof, Nine, Betrayal and The Real Thing.

Backbeat features classic rock ‘n’ roll tracks including Twist And Shout, Long Tall Sally and Please Mr Postman and brings to live the frenetic, often crazy peformances that the Beatles say shaped their future live gigs.

Speaking about the West End production, producer Karl Sydow said: “Backbeat at the Duke of York’s theatre will allow people the experience of being at the birth of the Beatles. It tells a story that many music fans may not know, set to a musical backdrop that absolutely defined the early 60s. Next year will mark 50 years since the Beatles released their first single, and I am proud to be bringing their early days to life in the West End.”

Keep checking for further news for when tickets go on sale!

[posted by Louise, 01/08/2011]

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