John Lennon Songbook

Photography ©Mark McNulty

2008 and Liverpool was the European Capital of Culture. Events were taking place throughout the city and this, the John Lennon Songbook concert, was Liverpool’s tribute to the life of one of it's most famous sons.

Having played the role of John Lennon in the play 'Lennon', the film 'John and Yoko - A Love Story' and then again on stage in 'Imagine', Mark was the obvious choice for the narrator and host of this event. He was joined by jazz singers Curtis Stigers and Claire Martin for the concerts, which took place on July 17th and 18th at Liverpool's Philarmonic Hall.

"I was bored on the 9th of Octover 1940 when, I believe, the Nasties were still booming us led by Madolf Heatlump (who only had one). Anyway they didn't get me."

With these words (as in the play 'Lennon') from John Lennon's book 'In His Own Write', Mark McGann started the audience off on a journey through the life of John Lennon. With the backing of the Royal Liverpool Philarmonic Orchestra, this really was Lennon for grown-ups.

With powerful use of lighting and background images of John's life, of the 60's and of the Beatles the setting was magnificent. Mark narrated the story and was joined intermittently by jazz singers Clare Martin and Curtis Stigers.

Songs included 'In My Life' (Mark), 'Julia' (Mark and Curtis), 'A Day in The Life' (Mark), 'All You Need is Love' (all), 'I am The Walrus' (all), 'Strawberry fields' (Mark), 'Yes it Is' (Curtis), 'Love' (Curtis), 'Ticket to Ride' (Clare), 'Dig a Pony' (Clare), 'Free as a Bird' (Mark) and my personal favourite, 'Beautiful Boy' (Mark).

The narration, written by Bob Eaton (of Lennon fame) tied the whole story together effortlessly. This show though was a revelation for those members of the audience who had never seen Mark as John Lennon before. With the glasses, the mannerisms and the uncanny voice, he was mesmerising.

The show finished with all three singing different verses of 'Imagine', slightly predictable but how else could it have ended? Having taken several bows, they returned to the stage to rapturous applause and reprised 'All You Need is Love'. They then left, with some reluctance, leaving the audience, after a five minute standing ovation, still begging for more!

This was an incredible tribute to John Lennon and for fans of Lennon, the Beatles and Mark it was wonderful to see him play this role again.

 

Photography ©Mark McNulty

Liverpool Philarmonic - a fantastic setting for a wonderful evening's entertainment

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