On 30 August 2015, actor, director, writer and musician Mark McGann brings his acclaimed show based on the life of John Lennon, In My Life, to the Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool.
Part-concert, part-narration, In My Life bears the distinction of being the only theatrical work about Lennon which is endorsed by his immediate family. It was performed to a sell-out house at the Royal Court last year as part of the International Beatleweek celebrations and now returns for two performances – one at 3pm, the other at 8pm.
Liverpool-born Mark McGann has become inextricably linked with John Lennon throughout his varied 35-year career in theatre, TV and film. He received his first big break in 1981 playing the former Beatle in a musical called Lennon while a member of the Everyman Theatre Company. The role led him to the West End, Broadway, national tours and one of his two Olivier Award nominations for Best Actor.
He again performed as Lennon in the Bill Kenwright-produced Imagine at the Playhouse Theatre in 1992 and in 2008, and was asked by the City of Liverpool to star in a fully orchestrated musical spectacular called the John Lennon Songbook as part of the Capital of Culture celebrations at the Philharmonic Hall, subsequently touring with it internationally. He went on to write, direct and perform in his own fully orchestrated musical, Two of Us, about the songwriting relationship of Lennon and McCartney, performed in Liverpool, Dublin and Newcastle in 2009/10.
When asked in 2008 by Bill Heckle of Cavern City Tours to take part in Beatleweek, he returned to the original script of Lennon and with writer Bob Eaton’s permission, reworked it to create In My Life.
“Having played John at various key stages of my own life and honed the script over 30-plus years, I feel I’m able to offer what I hope is now the most definitive version of his life story to date on stage,” Mark explains. “From the first night applause at the Everyman Theatre in October 1981 until now, John’s life and work has provided me with the most rewarding journey any performer could imagine.
“Playing this 20th century icon is always a most magical and exhilarating experience, a true gift. I am so grateful for the continuing opportunity to get inside this most visionary and mercurial of characters, one whose well-documented inner conflict and talent produced some of the most searingly honest songs of all time.
“The response of audiences to In My Life in recent years has been as emphatic as anything that I’ve been involved with as an artist and I will continue to perform my interpretation of John for as long as people want to see it.”
During the performance, Mark will be backed by Pepperland, a Swedish band whose authentic Beatle-esque sound led legendary producer George Martin to recommend them to perform live as the underscore for the first screening of the digitalised re-edit of the film Yellow Submarine in 2008.
In the year when, had he lived, John Lennon would have been 75, In My Life is a celebration of his life and legacy.