AND IN THE END: The Death and Life of John Lennon

Marshall + Cole Theatricals Ltd presents AND IN THE END: The Death and Life of John Lennon which is written and directed by Alexander Marshall, Lighting & Design by Andy Grange, Art Direction by Shannon MacDonald, Sound Design by Phil Lee and Incidental Music by Jon Gordon. Starring Valentine Pelka as John Lennon with Martin Bendel, Helen Phillips and Spencer Cowan from 7 May to 1 June at Jermyn Street Theatre.

December 8, 1980, 10.52pm New York City, The Dakota Apartments. Five gunshots ring out and one of the most iconic figures of the 20th century lies in a pool of blood struggling for life. Time stops. Fighting to stay alive, John Lennon finds himself caught in a limbo between life and death. As his former years flash before him, Gatekeepers of his past help him confront the five stages of death – Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.

Written by Emmy Award-winner Alexander Marshall and starring Valentine Pelka, And In The End is a searching, uplifting and humorous insight into the death and life of one of the most influential rock musicians of all time.

Former RSC member Valentine Pelka’s performance as John Lennon was critically acclaimed both at The Edinburgh Fringe and in Australia. His recent credits include Churchill’s POW, a new drama documentary for Channel 4 and the role of Charles Pearce in Howard Brenton’s Epsom Downs for Salisbury Playhouse. On TV, he is perhaps best known for his roles of Kronos in The Highlander and as Colonel Luis Montoya in The Queen of Swords. Film work includes Roman Polanski’s The Piano and Disney’s Under the Tuscan Sun.

Alexander Marshall’s previous directing credits include Fooling Buddha, American Gypsy, and Jadoo. He is the US end of the Anglo-American production team Marshall + Cole Theatricals Ltd. Giles Cole is the UK end of the team. Their work has included the sold out and acclaimed stage biography of Terence Rattigan The Art of Concealment by Giles Cole (also at Jermyn Street Theatre), Short Guys With Glasses and Seeing With the Mind’s Eye in Chicago and Max Maven Thinking In Person Off- Broadway. Marshall is a two-time Emmy Award-winner and in 2011 he won the Benjamin Franklin Award for his biography Beating A Dead Horse: The Life and Times of Jay Marshall. And In The End follows Jermyn Street Theatre’s Artistic Director Anthony Biggs’ production of Frederick Lonsdale’s On Approval.

Box office 0207 287 2875 and online at www.jermynstreettheatre.co.uk

Backbeat Musical, the story of how The Beatles ‘became’ The Beatles at Duke of York’s Theatre

Backbeat – the adaptation of the 1994 film by Iain Softley on the birth of the Beatles – will be rock ‘n’ rolling its way to London’s Duke of York Theatre for its West End premiere from October.

Backbeat is the story of how The Beatles ‘became’ The Beatles – when John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Pete Best and Stuart Sutcliffe embarked on their journey from the famous docks of Liverpool to search for success in the seedy red light district of Hamburg, working eight days a week, in the clubs of the tawdry Reeperbahn, performing rock ‘n’ roll covers night after night.

The compelling triangular relationship between the band’s original bassist Stuart Sutcliffe, the striking German photographer Astrid Kirchherr whom he fell in love with, and his best friend John Lennon, became an intrinsic part of the Beatles’ story – and put them on an unstoppable trajectory onto the world stage.

Stuart’s struggle between his best friend and the band, Astrid and his art, makes Stuart the troubled focus of Backbeat. His death, aged only 22, in the same year that the Beatles appointed Brian Epstein as manager, signed to Parlophone Records by Sir George Martin, and released their first single ‘Love Me Do’, adds to the poignancy of this remarkable and vivid portrait of the early 1960’s.

Backbeat features the all-time rock ‘n’ roll classics that the Beatles cut their teeth with – ‘Twist and Shout’, ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Music’, ‘Long Tall Sally’, ‘Please Mr Postman’ and ‘Money’ – live on stage as performed by ‘the Beatles’.

Co-written by Iain Softley and Stephen Jeffreys, with musical direction by Paul Stacey, and directed by the award-winning David Leveaux.

Book tickets for Backbeat at Duke of York’s Theatre!