BWW Review: LENNON: THROUGH A GLASS ONION, Belgrade Theatre Coventry, 21 October 2016
Lennon: Through A Glass Onion is a part-biographical, part-concert whistle-stop journey into the mind of international musical icon John Lennon, post-Beatles fame. Featuring 31 hits, including his solo work, the show has enjoyed great success all over the world, but most recently in Lennon's birthplace in Liverpool.
Written and directed by John Waters, the production is a two-hander between West End star Daniel Taylor, as Lennon himself, and Stewart D'Arrietta on piano and vocals. A split stage with no set and just a solitary spotlight on a guitar opens the show.
The perfect blend of music and story interweaves fluidly with no gimmicks; just a man and an insight into his extraordinary life. Sophie Pekbilimli's lighting is bordering on dark for much of the performance, with short bursts of colour in some of the musical numbers. This slightly moody approach works on the whole, but additional face light on occasion is desired. The exception being when "Imagine" is performed in complete darkness for the first 30 seconds or so - a beautiful moment.
Adam Burbury's sound using the handheld microphone is exceptional in the B2 space; however, the transitions to Taylor's radio mic are not always smooth and when solely using this amplification, it sounds like he's speaking in a tin can.
Taylor is superb as Lennon. Being a Scouser himself, the accent is no problem, but he also perfectly replicates Lennon's vocals and body language - even down to his guitar stance and the fact he often looked like he was chewing gum. The similarities are uncanny and Taylor is certainly a remarkable talent. D'Arrietta's role, as well as providing brilliant musical support, bulks up the story with additional voices to move the story along. His gravelly vocals and incredible prowess on keys are a real asset to a highly enjoyable show.
Lennon: Through A Glass Onion plays at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry until Saturday 22 October before touring Canada, USA and Australia until February 2017.