Cilla the Musical is a story of romance, family and success and is jam packed with hit songs that make you want to jump out of your seat and dance in the aisles. It reminded me of why I fell in love with the theatre in the first place. This show is nothing short of romantic, as it whisks you into the world of showbiz in the 60’s and into the lives of a group of young Liverpudlian musicians trying to make it big. Not least of course, the life of young and shy Priscilla White (or Cilla Black as she is christened by her manager) and where we first meet her, in the legendary Cavern Club where her story begins.
Aside from the understandable opening night technical hiccups (with an apparent attempt to deafen the audience) the cast got this show off to a roaring start; dancing on stage dressed in 60’s attire with the musicians posing as the Beatles (amongst other bands), making us feel like we were at a live music concert, which on occasion is detrimental to the narrative as there is A LOT of music in this show. There are slick set changes and a multitude of flashing lights, which all add to the wow factor of the show, along with Cilla’s array of glittery dresses which are enough to turn any girl green with envy.
This show is everything you would expect a musical to be. High energy, fast paced, great music and lots of laughs. There are moments of real tenderness and emotion, with the chemistry between Cilla and Bobby positively bubbling before our very eyes. Kara Lily Hayworth’s performance of Cilla is, in a word, mesmerising. This talented vocalist captivates the entire audience with her soulful, rich voice every time she sings. You can not take your eyes off her. Coupled with the seemingly never ending energy of Carl Au as the ever faithful Bobby, this pair’s delicious chemistry drives the show to its fabulous conclusion as we were dazzled once again by the amazing lighting design and musical score which had the whole audience on their feet (twice!) The standing ovations are a testament to what the actor musicians and creative team have achieved and I cannot wait to see this show again! (Oh yes, I will be making a point of seeing it a second time). - Lucy Newbery