Printable CopyLADY BEATLE
Adelaide Cabaret Festival
Dunstan Playhouse
Until 11 Jun 2017

Review by Talia Gaertner-Jones

It was 50 years ago today, Sgt Pepper taught the band to play!

On the 50th anniversary year of The Beatles ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ studio album, Naomi Price and her Lonely Hearts Club bring an incredible moving interpretation of Beatles favourites to the Dunstan Playhouse. Coining herself the ‘Fifth Beatle’, Price re-tells stories of the past, including Paul’s first piano purchase, George and Paul’s first time meeting on the bus and the pain of living in the shadows of the world’s greatest band.

In a grey military like coat, mimicking that of the colour coats from the Sgt Pepper album colour, Price moves through song after song of Beatles repertoire. Beginning with “Twist and Shout”, moving into “Penny Lane” for a bit of audience participation and an amazing mashup of “Revolution”, “Love Me Do”, “Let It Be”, “Strawberry Fields” and “Hey Jude”. Then moving to a more sombre tone in “Eleanor Rigby” and “Don’t Let Me Down”, two of the standouts from the night. The arrangements of the all the songs were unique however still kept that Beatles feel about them. Lonely Hearts Club Band members, Michael Manikus (piano), Mik Easterman (drums), Andrew Johnson (bass) and Jason McGregor (guitar) blended together perfectly and each had their own shining moment.

Partway through the show, Price revealed the real fifth Beatle and the character she was portraying: Brian Epstein. The stories she was telling were through the eyes of Epstein, the manager and founder of The Beatles, who sadly passed away in the heart of their success. The Beatles did not attend the funeral of Epstein at his mother’s request; however, Price pays tribute to him through the music all night, giving him the send-off he deserved.

Lady Beatle is a moving experience, not just for Beatles fans but for anyone who enjoys good music. The lighting is minimal yet effective, taking us from the black and white days to days of colour and the vivid glittering crystals of “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”.

Price revealed at the end of the performance that Lady Beatle was only thought of and created two weeks prior to her Adelaide performance, through a joint effort between herself and Adam Brunes. It is an amazing performance piece for such a short amount of preparation.

The Beatles were a group of friends that stood for love, equality and peace. They were often ahead of their time with what they were writing about and their messages are still just as relevant for today’s society as they were over 50 years ago. Price and her Lonely Hearts Club have definitely done the band justice.