Today ,Monday, 9 October, marks what would have been the 77th birthday of the legendary singer, songwriter, musician, peace campaigner and Beatle – John Winston Lennon – and in just over six months time, new comedy play Lennon’s Banjo will premiere at Liverpool’s Epstein Theatre – telling the fascinating and touching story behind the beginning of the singer’s musical journey, influenced by his mother Julia.
Produced by Pulse Records Ltd in association with Bill Elms, Lennon’s Banjo will open at Liverpool’s Epstein Theatre on Tuesday 24 April 2018 for a two-week run, continuing through until Saturday 5 May.
On 9 October 1957, a young John Lennon would have been celebrating his 17th birthday. It was the last birthday he would spend with his mother, Julia, who was killed the following Spring in a road traffic accident. It was well documented that Lennon was estranged from his parents and brought up by his Aunt Mimi. He said in many of his interviews: “I lost my mother twice. Once when I was five-years-old when she left me with my Aunt Mimi, and again at 17 when she was run over by a drunken off-duty police officer.”
It was Julia Lennon who introduced John 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.”
Mysteriously, the banjo went missing shortly after Julia Lennon’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.
Stage play Lennon’s Banjo is written by Rob Fennah, who will also co-produce the show. No stranger to theatre, Fennah wrote the stage play adaptation of Helen Forrester’s Twopence to Cross the Mersey. The play is based on the 2012 novel Julia’s Banjo by Rob Fennah and Helen A Jones.
Rob Fennah commented: “The show tells the story of a Beatles tour guide who uncovers a clue to the whereabouts of Lennon’s missing banjo. It’s like The Beatles meets the Da Vinci Code. As a big Beatles fan, I have matched the story to historical reality including dates, places and events. Next year marks the 60th anniversary of Julia’s tragic death. John idolised his mother. Julia’s banjo played a vital part in hers and John’s lives; nurturing and developing John’s musical talent; and of course, the history of popular music. Without the banjo, The Beatles would never have happened – that’s quite monumental when you think of the banjo in that context. I want fellow Beatles fans to enjoy the romp through Beatledom in search of the holy grail of pop music and come out of the theatre believing, as I do, that the banjo is still out there somewhere just waiting to be found.”
So where do the facts end and the fiction begin? Everything will be revealed in this fast paced, comic caper, multi-media play.
Missing for 60 years… The holy grail of pop is now worth millions to whoever finds it!
Watch the Promo Video here https://youtu.be/ddpVnRStAmo
Tue 24 April – Sat 5 May 2018
HOW TO BOOK
Tickets are on sale now.
ONLINE: www.epsteinliverpool.co.uk CALL: 0844 888 4411
IN PERSON: Hanover Street, Liverpool, L1 3DZ |Mon-Thu 2pm-6pm, Fri & Sat 12pm-6pm
ONLINE: www.ticketquarter.co.uk CALL: 0844 8000 410
IN PERSON: Echo Arena Box Office, Kings Dock, Liverpool