Beatles Film 'Backbeat; Gets U.K. Stage Adaptation at Glasgow Citizens Theatre, Opens 2/12/2010

Beatles Film 'Backbeat; Gets U.K. Stage Adaptation at Glasgow Citizens Theatre, Opens 2/12/2010

The Glasgow Citizens Theatre will present a stage adaptation of the 1994 British feature film "Backbeat," a chronicle of the Beatle's largely unfamiliar "Hamburg Years." Performances Feb. 9, 2010, prior to an official opening Feb. 12, for a run through March 6, 2010.

The play is written by Iain Softley, who co-wrote and directed the film in 1994.  Softley will also direct the staged production, which he co-wrote with playwright Stephen Jeffreys. 

The play, like the movie focuses on the relationship between Stu Sutcliffe, the band's original bassist; John Lennon, his best friend; and Astrid Kircherr, the German photographer who Sutcliffe became the object of Sutcliffe's great affection. The story showcases Sutcliffe's struggle with Lennon, music, and Astrid, made more poignant by Sutcliffe's untimely death at 22 just before Beatlemania overtook the world in the 1960s.

Says Softley, "When I was making the film, I was also visualizing a theatre production of Backbeat, where Stu's dramatic paintings and Astrid's stunning photography could be woven into the narrative along with great live music. I am so delighted that, after all these years, we can bring Backbeat to the theatre, and to debut in Scotland where Stu was born."

The play is being produced by Karl Sydow, whose additional credits on the West End include Dirty Dancing, Ring Round the Moon, Dance of Death, Sinatra and Our Country's Good. On 'Backbeat' he comments, "Iain and I have been talking about bringing Backbeat to the stage for some time, and it was very interesting to see that a lot of the recent media coverage about the Beatles has focussed on the early Hamburg days. Fans should be reassured that the adaptation to the stage will remain true to the film, but we will take full advantage of the possibilities that live performance can bring to a story that features a band, a painter and a photographer. We're so pleased to be working with the much respected Citizens' theatre in Glasgow, world renowned for its creative programming including supporting new works."

Softley's films credits additionally include Hackers, The Wings of the Dove, K-PAX, The Skeleton Key and Inkheart.

Jeffreys most recent project, a reimaginating of John Gay's The Beggar's Opera as The Convict's Opera, was staged by Out of Joint Theatre Company and Sydney Theatre Company. His additional plays include Like Dolls or Angels, Carmen 1936, Valued Friends, The Libertine, A Going Concern, I Just Stopped By to See The Man, Interruptions and Lost Land. The Libertine was adapted by Jeffreys into a film that starred Johnny Depp.

To book tickets, contact the box office on 0141 429 0022, or visit


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