Last night we were treated to a show stopping performance of the rise of Liverpudlian superstar Cilla Black
The tour of Cilla – The Musical began earlier this year in Liverpool and last night it was the turn of Stoke-on-Trent’s Regent Theatre to host the show.
Based around the TV drama featuring Sheridan Smith, Cilla, the show takes the audience on a journey that starts back in the sixities and follows Cilla’s rise to stardom.
Central to the story is the relationship that Cilla has with her soul mate, manager and husband, Bobby Willis, from them meeting each other to their relationship evolving while Cilla rose up to being the star we all love.
The sounds of Merseybeat are scatted throughout the musical and the audience were thoroughly entertained with the early performances of a little known Liverpool band, The Beatles, which was instrumental in catapulting Cilla into the big time.
Of course you couldn’t have a musical about Cilla without her own music and actress Kara Lily Hayworth gives a mesmerising and powerful performance of some of Cilla’s best known tunes. Kara’s amazing rendition of Anyone Who Had A heart left us with goosebumps and speechless as the curtain came down to end the first act. As if that wasn’t enough we were treated to an equally spellbinding performance of Your My World as act 2 opened and the curtain went up. Kara’s performance was powerful, emotional and funny! If you closed your eyes you would really have believed that Cilla was up on the stage performing for one more time.
Kara’s captivating and passionate performance was simply magnificent as she filled “our Cilla’s” shoes and had the audience under her spell, an incredible achievement for someone who won the role with the same determination that Cilla had. Kara secured the role after attending open auditions in London, where she queued for 4 hours, and then a final audition at the famous Cavern Club in Liverpool.
Andrew Lance gives an emotive and compelling performance as the troubled Brian Epstein and Carl Au wonderfully brings to life the sweet, caring and gentle character of Bobby.
Rounding off the main cast are Cilla’s hilarious “mam and dad” played by Pauline Fleming and Paul Broughton. This happy couple deliver some belly laughing one liners that reminded us, with smiles, of our own northern parents.
Despite the overall happy tone of the show there are darker, sad moments too and these powerful scenes brought a tear to the eye of some of those around us, very much an emotional roller coaster of a show!
Overall the toe-tapping, witty performance and sublime singing make Cilla – The Musical a must watch show, 5 out of 5!