Beatles fans are being offered the chance to pay privy to the creative process which spawned a number of the Fab Four’s most famous albums, as a new stage musical based on the Abbey Road recording sessions has been announced for London’s Royal Albert Hall.
Described as “a musical documentary”, The Sessions at Abbey Road will emulate how albums including Revolver and Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band were made, using a replica of building’s Studio Two.
Opening on 1 April 2016, the musical’s producer, Stig Edgren, told the Times: “It will be a musical documentary giving audiences an honest, respectful and accurate re-creation of how music history was made”.
Although the studio will be recreated in its exact dimensions – 18 by 11.5 metres, 60 by 40 feet, complete with a mixing booth – Edgren stated that its actors would not hold such precise resemblance to John, Paul, Ringo and George: “I didn’t want it to be another lookalike show… We’re not trying to look like The Beatles. We [are] trying to sound like them. The idea is you’re watching them in recording session mode.”
The Sessions at Abbey Road will span the Beatles’ career and their creative output from 1962 to 1969, using period equipment and enlisting 39 musicians and eight singers to recreate the sound.
An “incredible amount” of research has gone into the show, according to producer Jef Hanlon. “All instrumentation, arrangements and vocals will be performed identically to the original recordings. There will even be eight singers to recreate the multi-tracked vocals pioneered by The Beatles.
“This show does not seek to be a look-a-like show, but rather a sound-a-like, with the singers being the best Beatles imitators in the world.”