Backbeat, the stage adaptation of the 1994 film about the formation of the Beatles, will close at London's Duke of York's Theatre on February 18, 2012. The David Leveaux-helmed piece began performances on September 24 and officially opened October 10. The departure of Backbeat makes way for the West End debut of Zach Braff’s play All New People, which will begin a 10-week run at the theater beginning February 22, 2012.
Set in the early 1960s, Backbeat follows John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison and original Beatles members Pete Best and Stuart Sutcliffe on their journey as young rockers in Liverpool and Hamburg. Sutcliffe's romance with German artist Astrid Kircherr soon gets in the way of the band's music. At only 22, the bassist died the same year the Beatles hired Brian Epstein as their manager and released their first single, "Love Me Do."
The West End cast includes Nick Blood as Stuart Sutcliffe, Andrew Knott as John Lennon, Ruta Gedmintas as Astrid Kirchherr, Daniel Healy as Paul McCartney, William Payne as George Harrison and Oliver Bennett as Pete Best.
Backbeat had its world premiere at Glasgow's Citizens Theatre in 2010. There are currently plans underway for producer David Mirvish to transfer the production to Toronto, Canada, during the summer of 2012.