Friday 17 May 2019

Your total guide to the Shrewsbury Beatles Weekend

Check out the fab events planned for this September weekend - Sept 20-21.

This year, Shrewsbury will be celebrating all things Fab Four with the Shrewsbury Beatles Weekend. On September 20th, 21st and 22nd there will be a whole range of events in the town including live music, tours, special guest speakers and Beatles film screenings – once again proving that All You Need Is Love. On the 19th our preview event is a 2-hour boat cruise with live Beatles music by Tony Stanton.

The weekend will finish with a concert at Theatre Severn featuring – from Liverpool – the top Beatles tribute band, The Mersey Beatles.

The entire weekend is in aid of the Mayor of Shrewsbury’s charity 2019-20, the Samaritans of Shrewsbury.

There will be additional events across Shrewsbury including musicians presenting live renditions of Beatles songs in the cellars of The Buttermarket, a venue reminiscent of the legendary Cavern Club in Liverpool where the Fab Four first attracted attention.
Five great Beatles films will be screened at The Walker Theatre on Friday and Saturday (see details below).

The Beatles played in Shrewsbury three times – once at The Granada, twice at The Music Hall – and they even wrote one of their biggest hits, ‘From Me to You’, while travelling from York to their next gig in Shrewsbury in February 1963.

In addition, it’s the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ classic album, Abbey Road, this September and The Mersey Beatles will be performing the album in its entirety as part of their act.
About the Films
Friday 20th September
4pm ‘Backbeat’ (15) 1994 100 mins 
Iain Softley chronicles the frenetic times of The Beatles’ performances in sweaty and smoky clubs in Hamburg in the days before the band found global Director success. John, Paul, George, Pete and Stuart have to play long in to the night and in the process become a sensation. At the heart of the story is Stuart Sutcliffe’s relationship with local girl Astrid Kirchherr and former fellow art school friend John Lennon. The soundtrack is packed with rock and roll classics and captures the energy of The Beatles on this 1961 engagement in the German port. With Sheryl Lee, Stephen Dorff, Ian Hart, Gary Bakewell, Chris O’Neill and Scot Williams
Tickets: £8.00 

Friday 20th September
8pm ‘Looking for Lennon’ (12) 2018 93 mins
Documentary director Roger Appleton presents an honest retrospective on the early life of John Lennon and the tragedies that shaped his personality and later his music. The film includes rare and previously unseen memoirs along with interviews with some of his closest family, friends and associates. The film uncovers the story of John’s time in The Quarrymen with interviews with original members. Fellow art school students and early friends recall their memories of teenage John as he was discovering music and life. Writer and director Curt Wiser describes the film – “I place ‘Looking for Lennon’ among the ranks of the great music documentaries out there.” The film will be introduced by director Roger Appleton and there will be a Q & A with him afterwards.
Tickets: £8.00 

Saturday 21st September
1.30pm ‘Good Ol’ Freda’ (PG) 2013 87 mins
Behind a great band, there was a great woman. Beatles Fan Club Secretary Freda Kelly told her story for the first time in 50 years in this fun and charming documentary directed by Ryan White. At the start she had no idea how far The Beatles would go but she had faith in them and they had faith in her. For ten years Freda was a witness to the ups and downs of life in the inner circle of the greatest band in history. “This story of Freda Kelly’s will be one of the last true stories of The Beatles that you’ll ever really hear.” - Angie McCartney, Paul’s Stepmother “Pure joy.” - The Hollywood Reporter
Tickets: £8.00

Saturday 21st September
4.00pm ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ (U) 1964 88 mins
 In 1964 the biggest band on the planet made their big screen debut with ‘A Hard Day’s Night’, a groundbreaking film that presented a ‘typical’ day in the life of The Fab Four as they tried to outrun screaming fans. They find Paul’s grandfather (Wilfred Brambell), deal with a stressed TV producer (Victor Spinetti) and make it to the show on time. Directed with unrelenting verve by Richard Lester whose innovative techniques paved the way for generations of music videos, the film’s frenetic mix of comic escapades, legendary one-liners and pop perfection captured a moment in time that defined a generation. The most iconic band in music history had arrived. We present a rare opportunity to see the 2014 4k restored version showcasing Gilbert Taylor’s luscious black & white photography with sound restored by top Abbey Road team Giles Martin and Sam Okell. A real treat! The film will be preceded by a talk by Cara Spencer, daughter of Beatles photographer Terence Spencer.
Tickets: £8.00

Saturday 21st September 
7.30pm ‘The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years’ (12A) 2016 115 mins
The Beatles stormed Europe in 1963 and, in 1964, they conquered America. Their groundbreaking world tours changed global youth culture forever and, arguably, invented mass entertainment as we know it today. All the while the group was composing and recording a series of extraordinarily successful singles and albums. However, the relentless pressure of such unprecedented fame, that in 1966 became uncontrollable turmoil, led to the decision to stop touring. Oscar winning director Ron Howard explores this incredible journey in his own unique way. With original interviews, footage and staggering live performances he puts us right inside this extraordinary adventure. The film won five awards including the Grammy for Best Music Film in 2017. “The closest you can get to actually being there.” – Ali Plumb, BBC Radio 1 Tickets: £8.00
Weekend Schedule

Thursday 19th September
Beatles Boat Cruise on the Sabrina 7.30pm – depart Victoria Quay Cruise along the River Severn on board the Sabrina for two hours with live Beatles music with Tony Stanton plus records by The Fab Four.
Tickets £12 available now via First drink and nibbles are included.

Friday 20th September
The Walker Theatre at Theatre Severn 4.00pm Film – ‘Backbeat’ (cert 15)
Tickets: £8

6.00pm Launch event with guests - Theatre Severn first floor foyer

8.00pm Film ‘Looking For Lennon’ (cert 12), introduced by director Roger Appleton, followed by Q & A.
Tickets: £8.

Saturday 21st September
10.30am Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery (The Music Hall) 10.30am – Historic Town Tour of Medieval and Tudor Shrewsbury with Martin Wood, Town Crier finishing with coffee on the Balcony of The Music Hall, where The Beatles played twice (14th Dec 1962 & 26th April 1963)
Tickets £8

1.30pm Film – ‘Good Ol’ Freda’ (cert PG) Tickets: £8

4.00pm Film – ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ (cert U) Preceded by a short talk by Cara Spencer, daughter of Beatles photographer Terence Spencer.
Tickets: £8

7.30pm Film ‘The Beatles: Eight Days A Week, The Touring Years’ (cert 12A) Tickets: £8

The Wheatsheaf, Frankwell
7.00pm until late - Beatles Open Mic Night. Local bands and singers perform The Beatles’ greatest hits and lesser known songs.

Sunday 22nd September 
10.30am and 11.30am – Tours of the Granada Theatre (yet to be confirmed)

The Buttermarket Cellars, Howard Street 
12 noon – 2.00pm Lunchtime Live at ‘The Cavern’. Live Beatles music with The Backbeat Three, Famous Last Words and Two-faced Tom & The Bootleg Boys. Doors open 11.30am, event ends at 2.30pm. Refreshments - tea & coffee, licensed bar. Settle down with a drink, a Sunday paper and enjoy some great Beatles music in a venue that will bring back Cavern memories! Tickets: £10 including bacon roll and salad (or vegetarian option) Bookings open online 20th May

The Hive, 5 Belmont 
2.30pm Talk: ‘The Beatles in Comics’ by Tim Quinn. Since arriving at the Toppermost of the Poppermost, The Beatles have appeared in thousands of comic strips and gag cartoons. Former Marvel Comics comic book creator Tim Quinn takes a look at 100 of the best....and worst!

Theatre Severn - Main auditorium 
7.30pm Live in concert – The Mersey Beatles The showstopping setlist includes around 40 of The Beatles’ greatest songs, covering every era, and occasionally a lesser known classic for the true Beatles aficionados. Every concert is a unique experience. No script, just great music and a desire to capture the true spirit of The Beatles with a refreshing authenticity. The whole of the album ‘Abbey Road’ will be performed for its 50th anniversary. Tickets: £22 & £20 Book soon as tickets are selling fast!

See the Beatles Weekend events and book tickets at

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