Pete Best will also make a special appearance for three performances during run
A further three actors have been confirmed to join the cast of Lennon’s Banjo, which makes its world stage premiere at Liverpool’s Epstein Theatre in April. Mark Moraghan, Stephanie Dooley and Alan Stocks join fellow actors Eric Potts, Jake Abraham, Lynn Francis and Roy Carruthers in a comedy play that is already making headlines around the world. The cast includes former Beatles’ drummer Pete Best, who will play himself during three special performances of the show’s two-week run. Produced by Pulse Records Ltd in association with Bill Elms, Lennon’s Banjo opens at the Epstein Theatre on Tuesday 24 April, continuing through until Saturday 5 May.
Lennon’s Banjo is written by Rob Fennah, who will also co-produce the show.The show is about a quest to find the holy grail of pop memorabilia – the first instrument John Lennon learned to play, which has been missing for 60 years and is now worth millions to whoever finds it. Set in present day Liverpool, Lennon’s Banjo is based on the 2012 novel Julia’s Banjo written by Rob Fennah and Helen A Jones. The production will be directed by Mark Heller.
Pete Best was The Beatles’ drummer between 1960 and 1962, playing more than 1,000 live performances including nightclubs and dance halls in both Liverpool and Hamburg. He recorded 27 songs as a Beatle, and he also played The Beatles’ very first show in Liverpool at the Casbah Coffee Club. The ex-Beatle will appear as himself in Lennon’s Banjo in three performances – the 2.30pm and 7.30pm shows on Wednesday 25 April, and the 7.30pm show on Saturday 5 May.
It was John Lennon’s mother, Julia Lennon, who introduced him to the world of pop music, teaching him to play rock and roll on a banjo, given to her by John’s grandfather. Lennon often recounted how he would sneak off to visit his mum, who lived only a few miles away. There, he would learn to play songs like ‘That’ll Be The Day’. He has been quoted as saying: “Mum would sit there with endless patience until I managed to work out all the chords.”
On 9 October 1957, a young John Lennon turned 17. It was the last birthday he would spend with his mother, Julia, who was killed the following summer in a road traffic accident. This year marks the 60th anniversary of Julia’s death and the banjo’s disappearance. Mysteriously, the banjo went missing shortly after Julia’s death and no-one has set eyes on it since. One thing is certain though, if it did resurface it is estimated to be worth in the region of five million pounds.
Co-Producer Bill Elms commented: “We are very excited to announce a further three cast members to join the already strong line-up. Together, the cast along with special guest appearances from former Beatles’ drummer Pete Best, is going to make Lennon’s Banjo the show of 2018 you will not want to miss.” So where do the facts end and the fiction begin? Everything will be revealed in this intriguing, colourful and fast-paced comic caper.