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We Can Work It Out: Story of the Beatles - Melbourne Fringe Review

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by Mistress of Culture Vultures (subscribe)
I am a writer living in Melbourne who loves to devour culture and the arts. Visit me at www.pumptheatre.com.au
Event: -
More than holdings hands, and it wasn't Yoko's fault
The Butterfly Club was packed for opening night of We Can Work It Out , a play written by Gabriel Bergmoser, on now in the 2018 Melbourne Fringe Festival until 30 September. Book your tickets here.

We Can Work It Out, Beatles, Melbourne Fringe Festival, Butterfly Club, Comedy, Music, Bitten By Productions, Gabriel Bergmoser
The cast of 'We Can Work It Out' on stage at The Butterfly Club


Set in 1966, Ringo Starr (Brett Wolfenden), Paul McCartney (Karl Sarsfield), John Lennon (Kashmir Sinnamon) and George Harrison (Troy Larkin) are backstage drinking scotch and contemplating their next moves in the music industry. John has writer's block, is struggling to come up with new lyrics and wants the band's music to be more politically motivated. George is deeply angry with John for sleeping with his girlfriend Sally and is at a crossroads with the band. Paul is continually optimistic and happy to continue down the same road which made The Beatles a success. Ringo is quietly ruminating in his own thoughts.

We Can Work It Out, Beatles, Melbourne Fringe Festival, Butterfly Club, Comedy, Music, Bitten By Productions, Gabriel Bergmoser
Kashmir Sinnamon plays John Lennon


As the night wains on, the band starts to argue firstly about their musical direction, then about whether their music is pure shallow entertainment or art. George is worried about the rise of The Beach Boys in the United States and John seems nonplussed by their success.

We Can Work It Out, Beatles, Melbourne Fringe Festival, Butterfly Club, Comedy, Music, Bitten By Productions, Gabriel Bergmoser
Karl Sarsfield plays Paul McCartney


Paul is open to continuing the band, stating that his songwriting formula 'works' as it has kept the band afloat and allowed them to escape dreary Liverpool and travel the world.

We Can Work It Out, Beatles, Melbourne Fringe Festival, Butterfly Club, Comedy, Music, Bitten By Productions, Gabriel Bergmoser
Troy Larkin plays George Harrison


George chides Paul for writing music to make money, and eventually fight breaks out and after vigorous discussions about cheating girlfriends, drugs and John's narcissistic tendencies, the band decides to split.

We Can Work It Out, Beatles, Melbourne Fringe Festival, Butterfly Club, Comedy, Music, Bitten By Productions, Gabriel Bergmoser
Ringo Wolfenden plays Ringo Starr


Produced by Bitten By Productions and directed by Gregory Caine, this is a well written and researched play, superbly cast and acted, adorned with convincing Beatles hair, sideburns, noses and Liverpool accents. The fight choreography is particularly impressive on the small stage of The Butterfly Club.

The only disappointing part is there is no music - not a quiver of a Beatles song in this production, neither hummed nor strummed. There are spoken references to the songs 'I Wanna Hold Your Hand' and 'We Can Work It Out' but it seemed strange 'The Boys' did not have at least one guitar or even a pitch pipe between them. This may be due to copyright or royalty laws prohibiting the performance of The Beatles music, but it is rare to see a band of musicians drinking and smoking without their instruments close by.

melbourne fringe festival, beatles, we can work it out, cabaret, bitten productions, butterfly club
We Can Work It Out


However, if you are a die-hard lover of The Beatles, you will just have to see this show, as unlike many other bands, they will never make a comeback.
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*Mistress of Culture Vultures was invited as a guest
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Why? You love The Beatles
When: 8.30 pm
Phone: 03 9663 8107
Where: The Butterfly Club, Carson Place, off Little Collins St, Melbourne, Vic, 3000
Cost: $ 26.00 - $ 32.00
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