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The Beatles: See Fab Four act Shakespeare, play hits on wild 1964 TV special

John Lennon portrays female lead in riotous ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ bit.
George Harrison (left) and John Lennon.

George Harrison (left) and John Lennon.

In 1964, Beatlemania was in full effect. The Fab Four were the young kings of the rock and roll world — and indulging in all sorts of wild promotional antics. One particularly fun event was their TV special Around the Beatles.

Taped in London’s Wembley Park Studios on April 28, 1964, and broadcast internationally a week later on May 6, the show kicked off with a riotous performance of Act V, Scene I of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream — starring Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Star and John Lennon as the female lead Thisbe.

The show also includes performances by Long John Baldry (“Got My Mojo Working”), P.J. Proby, Millie and more, including, of course, The Beatles themselves closing the show with a collection of their hits like “Twist and Shout,” “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Shout” and more.

Watch the madness unfold below.