Beatle Pete Best is set to join the cast of Lennon’s Banjo when it gets its premiere in Liverpool next spring.
The drummer, who was replaced in The Beatles by Ringo Starr in 1962, will appear in three performances of the show, being staged at the Epstein Theatre, playing himself.
Pete, whose niece is Liverpool actress Leanne Best, said today: “I read the novel Julia's Banjo some years ago and thought it was a great mix of fact and fiction with regards to the Beatles and the elusive banjo. It made me smile; a really enjoyable read.
“So, when speaking to Rob Fennah about the book becoming a stage play, I said in passing, 'I should play me!' And lo and behold, here I am doing a few of the performances.
“I would have loved to have done all of them but prior commitments made that impossible. Anyway, either with me, or the actor playing me, this show is going to be great fun!"
Lennon’s Banjo is produced by Pulse Records Ltd in association with Bill Elms and tells the story of the banjo which belonged to his mother Julia, who first taught the young John to play musical chords.
After she died in a road accident when he was 17, the banjo disappeared. But if it did come to light again, it could be one of the most valuable instruments ever.
Pete Best with fellow Beatles
Pete Best will join confirmed cast members Eric Potts, Jake Abraham, Mark Moraghan, Stephanie Dooley, Lynn Francis and Roy Carruthers, with more cast to be announced soon.
Rob Fennah, who co-wrote Julia’s Banjo, added: “As a huge Beatles’ fan, I was gobsmacked when Pete said he wanted to do it. Having a real-life Beatle up there on stage is going to be a fantastic buzz, not just for those fortunate enough to get tickets for the shows Pete is performing in, but for the whole cast and crew.
“As for the play itself, I have matched the story to historical reality including dates, places and events. I want everyone to enjoy their romp through Beatledom and come out of the theatre believing, as I do, that the banjo is still out there somewhere just waiting to be found
“It's The Beatles meets The Da Vinci Code!”
Lennon’s Banjo is at the Epstein Theatre from April 24 to May 5. Pete Best will appear in two shows on April 25 and the evening of May 5. Tickets from the website HERE