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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 July 2006, 09:26 GMT 10:26 UK
Beatles witness musical premiere
Sir Paul McCartney
Sir Paul McCartney saw the show before its official premiere
Surviving Beatles Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr have attended the Las Vegas premiere of a musical dedicated to the band's legacy.

Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison, the widows of John Lennon and George Harrison, also watched Love.

"It was emotional because two of us aren't there. So it really comes home when you're watching this," said Starr.

The Cirque de Soleil show is the first major theatrical project the Beatles' company Apple Corps has taken part in.

McCartney appeared on stage after the performance and shouted: "This is for John and George!"

'Never satisfied'

The Beatles' producer George Martin, who worked with his son Giles to create the show's sound, said: "If John [Lennon] saw the show, he'd probably say 'yeah, but it could be better'.

Cirque de Soleil performing Love
The Cirque de Soleil chronicle The Beatles' story with acrobatic feats

"He was never satisfied with anything that he ever did in his life. In his mind, he had a dream world which could not be realised."

"Sgt Pepper was done because the Beatles stopped touring. And this was done because the Beatles aren't here," said Giles Martin.

Yoko Ono said: "All this time when I was working on this show in the rehearsals, I thought 'oh, John should be here,' That's the only thing that I regret, the fact that he's not here, because he would have enjoyed it so much."


John Lennon's son Julian also attended the premiere, along with his mother - and Lennon's first wife - Cynthia.

The show is an acrobatic and dance spectacle set to a soundscape containing parts of 130 of the band's songs and unpublished outtakes.

Ringo Starr
It was emotional because two of us aren't there
Ringo Starr after watching Love

It covers the 1940s when the Beatles were growing up, to the height of Beatlemania in the 60s and their later psychedelic period.

It makes references to historical events such as the death of Lennon's mother in a road accident, which is set to A Day In The Life.

Hooded figures throwing knives at a cross allude to threats made against the Beatles by the Ku Klux Klan after Lennon said The Beatles were "more popular than Jesus".

McCartney and Starr were closely involved in the project, which took several years to devise, as were Ono and Olivia Harrison.

It is being staged at the extensively refurbished Mirage Theatre in Las Vegas.

Siegfried and Roy performed there for 13 years before Roy Horn was nearly killed on stage by one of the duo's performing tigers in 2003.

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