Review: Lennon—Through a Glass Onion

29 March 2018

There were no wigs, no glasses, and no beard. John R. Waters gave the audience an impeccable performance. He performed John Lennon’s classics while telling us a deeply felt reflection of the man without it leaning too much towards an impersonation of Lennon. Lennon: Through a Glass Onion is a musical biography that introduces us to John Lennon’s life. This includes the breakup, resentment towards Yoko Ono, his rivalry with Paul McCartney, his visit to the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and much more.

The simple stage setup is occupied by only a piano and a mike stand. Stewart D’Arrietta accompanies Mr. Waters on stage and gives us an unforgettable performance. Mr D’Arrietta instrumentally holds the performance together and provides a series of piano effects along with singing. On the surface, this seems like a fairly straightforward performance. But by looking deeper into it, the audience can see that it is not just a musical biography about John Lennon, but more so how Lennon’s emotional reactions tie in with his significant life events.

The show begins when the lights go dark, and five shots are heard. Mr D’Arrietta performs a throwback to Lennon’s childhood, singing ‘Overture—Scouser’s Lament’ and ‘Liverpool Lullaby’. The stage then welcomes Mr Waters who sings a mind-blowing rendition of ‘A Day in The Life’. Mr Waters has been performing his John Lennon tribute since 1992 and it is easy to see why it still continues to appeal up till now. He gets the essence, right to the core of Lennon’s heart and soul.

John Lennon was a multi talented man. He was a pop star, musician, writer, activist, teacher, and so much more. Lennon: Through a Glass Onion captured every single facet of his short but incredibly rich life. The two-hour long show closed off with a rousing rendition of ‘Imagine’, one of Lennon’s most well known classics, which was a good way to end the highly intimate evening. Through the personal and grand performance by Mr Waters and Mr D’Arrietta, we get a glimpse at Lennon’s life and spirit.


John Lennon: Through a Glass Onion was performed at the Arts Centre Melbourne’s Playhouse Theatre.

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