Mark Lewisohn: Evolver 62

With Mark Lewisohn. Bloomsbury Theatre, London. Friday 7th October 2002.

Mark Lewisohn started his new show by teasing the audience with the writing of the second instalment of Tune In as he sat at his desk and tortuously stabbed at the type writer at snail’s pace speed. In fact this show is born from necessity as the time required to research and write his master work has long since ceased to be funded by the book’s original advance. It is of huge credit to Lewisohn that he maintains the high standards that have led him to this point despite the cravings of the Beatles fanbase to see the next release.

The premise of the show, which follows last year’s Hornsey Road, is to follow the story of the Beatles through 1962 by presenting 62 mini stories. Each individual story which is supported by visual and audio clips enhance the story telling that Mark delivers in his customary engaging manner with a large portion of humour. The story, at a high level, is know by us all and includes elements of humour, coincidence, tragedy, love, luck and loss but where Lewisohn excels is by providing the context. Just what were the events that were happening in parallel with the greatest story in music? What was shaping the decisions of those involved? And those incredible what if scenarios … the Beatles backing Jimmy Savile … the audience shivered at the thought.

Lewisohn had released a few of the 62 stories online prior to the show to provide a flavour of what was to come in the forthcoming shows. The experience of being in attendance was much more fulfilling as story upon story added to what was the amazing emergence of a music phenomenon in such a significant year not just for the Beatles but for British culture. Signalling the start of both the Beatles story and also the beginning of the James Bond series of movies which began on the same day, 5th October 1962.

With a film team in attendance it is possible that the show will see a release at some point in the future, probably online but also poses the question as to whether next year will see Revolver 63? Many of us would welcome an annual show as much as we would Tune In 2. A fabulous evening that provided so much to any Beatles fans in attendance.

By Gwyn Jenkins.

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