Review by Ian Hills Wythenshawe FM 97.2
1960’s Liverpool music history sails along the Manchester Ship Canal and docks at the Lowry Theatre, Salford Quays.
CILLA – THE MUSICAL is the new spectacular and heart-warming musical adaptation of the critically-acclaimed hit ITV television series by Bafta Award winner, Jeff Pope. It tells the extraordinary story of the teenage girl from Liverpool whose dreams of stardom lead to her becoming one of Britain’s best-loved entertainers of all time.
It’s an introduction by a young John Lennon to music mogul Brian Epstein that changes Priscilla White’s life forever. By the age of just 25 she would be known as singer and TV Star Cilla Black, a Number One selling artist at the forefront of the 1960s British music scene.
The musical score is the ultimate soundtrack to the 60’s including Cilla’s greatest hits Anyone Who Had a Heart, Alfie, Something Tells Me, Twist and Shout by the Beatles, California Dreamin’ by The Mamas and The Papas and many more.
Set in arches of the Cavern Club, Liverpool, we meet Cilla (Kara Lily Haworth), The Beatles, The Big Three and Gerry and the Pacemakers with Brian Epstein, Andrew Lance, Bobby Willis, Carl Au and the rest of the cast to tell Cilla’s story “The girl from Scotty Road.”
Kara Lily Hayworth was discovered in open auditions from over 2,000 hopefuls. Robert Willis, Cilla’s son and Executive Producer, chose her at the final audition in the real Cavern Club in Liverpool. She brings the tenacity, confidence and superb vocals from being a classically-trained singer to the stage. Her performance is not just an impersonation but her own interpretation of Cilla’s songs; Cilla’s warmth and presence comes through.
Gary McCann’s set is a collection of theatre stages, TV and recording studios and domestic interiors, contained by a series of brick proscenium arches found in the original Cavern Club. This is where we meet Cilla’s friends, Mum and Dad, George Martin and Burt Bacharach.
Scott Alder’s rousing musical direction keeps the hits coming and, even before the finale, it has the audience on its feet, joining in with the singing and dancing.
This show is a must-see for Cilla Black fans and 60s music lovers.
CILLA – THE MUSICAL is at the Lowry Theatre Salford until Saturday 1st September and then on UK tour.
Tickets are available from The Lowry Pier 8, The Quays, Salford M50 3AZ.
Phone: 0843 208 6000 or go to the website www.thelowry.com/events/cilla-the-musical.