Beatles biopic ‘Backbeat’ adapted for stage play by film’s director

Band's 'Hamburg years' and original bassist Stuart Sutcliffe set for the stage

‘Backbeat’, the biopic about The Beatles‘ early years, is being brought to the stage by its original writer and director.

A play version of the 1994 film which charted the Fab Four‘s “Hamburg years”, will be staged at Glasgow‘s Citizens Theatre in February next year.

The production is being directed by Iain Softley, who wrote and directed the original movie. He has also co-written the adaptation for the stage with Stephen Jeffreys.

‘Backbeat’ recreated The Beatles‘ formative years, focusing on the group’s orginal bassist Stuart Sutcliffe, who died of a cerebral hemorrhage aged 21 in 1962.

The movie focused on Edinburgh-born Sutcliffe‘s relationship with John Lennon and German photographer Astrid Kirchherr, who Sutcliffe fell in love with and is credited with being instrumental in creating the band’s “moptop” look.

“When I was making the film, I was also visualising a theatre production of ‘Backbeat’, where Stu’s dramatic paintings and Astrid’s stunning photography could be woven into the narrative along with great live music,” said Softley of the adaptation. “I am so delighted that, after all these years, we can bring ‘Backbeat’ to the theatre, and to debut in Scotland, where Stu was born.”

The play will run from February 9 to March 6 – excluding Sundays – next year. Tickets are on sale. See

The movie version of ‘Backbeat’ starred Stephen Dorff, Ian Hart and Sheryl Lee. There is currently no word on the cast for the stage adaptation.