Television: The Mersey Sound

The Beatles were in Southport for a series of six nights at the Odeon Cinema when they also took part in The Mersey Beat, a documentary made by Manchester-based BBC producer Don Haworth.

Haworth had first met the group on 21 July 1963 to discuss his idea to capture the spirit of Mersey Beat on camera. He signed a contract with Brian Epstein on 6 August, granting him exclusive access for a time.

Shooting took place in Southport, Manchester and Liverpool between Tuesday 27 and Friday 30 August. On this first day The Beatles were filmed at the Little Theatre on Hoghton Street, Southport, performing on stage without an audience. Haworth knew that if he filmed a real concert the sound and the fury from the fans would have made the footage unusable.

Filming began at 9.30am. The Beatles performed versions of Twist And Shout and She Loves You, while wearing their grey collarless suits. They then changed into black collarless suits and performed Love Me Do, with a curtain behind them to suggest a different location.

Haworth later edited in footage of fans from The Beatles’ concert on the previous night at the Odeon. In the final cut, however, the EMI recordings of the songs was dubbed onto the footage in place of the live audio.

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