Oh Hull New Theatre, you did book a treat for us this week and I was lucky enough to be in the audience! “Cilla the musical “ is showing this week and “wow!” what a fabulous production this is.
Kara Lily Hayworth stars as the wonderful Cilla and it’s clear to see why she was chosen to represent such a star; what a superb voice this young lady has! You could close your eyes and she WAS Cilla. She had such amazing clarity and range, as well as being such a good actress. Kara is definitely one to look out for in the future.
The story follows Cilla’s early days. This lady did so much in her life they couldn’t possibly condense it into two hours. The audience felt part of the intimate atmosphere of Liverpool’s Cavern Club where Cilla sang with The Beatles and Gerry and the Pacemakers. The music was pure 60’s joy, “I like it” (I loved it), “Twist and Shout”
Cilla was managed by the same manager as The Beatles; Brian Epstein, who was brilliantly portrayed by Andrew Lancel (The Bill and Coronation St). Epstein was the mastermind behind her career and steered “our Cilla” to stardom.
Cilla’s beloved Bobbie was played by Alexander Patmore. I had not known that Bobbie could have had a singing career of his own. Epstein wanted to sign him, but alas he gave it all up for Cilla! And that point of the show, was where I wanted to go and slap Cilla for being so selfish. However, Cilla won me over with her singing.
We glimpsed Cilla’s home life with her parents so proud that she left school with a report saying she was suitable for office work. The first to do so in her working class family. But Cilla had to win over her dad (played by John Macdonald) to get him to sign her contract for her (as she was under the age of 21). He brought some humour to the show, in particular when he met Danny La Rue; his face was hilarious! He had the audience in stitches telling Bobbie to “watch out for that one… I was in the Merchant Navy, I know these things!”
Act Two of the show was filled with more great classics such as Cilla’s 1964 number-one hit “You’re my world “, the haunting “Alfie” , “Step inside love” and many more of Cilla’s hit songs. The audience lapped up every note of the foot tapping tunes sung by the cast.
Younger audience members might find it fascinating how the “Stars” in those days had to rely on calls from public phone boxes to tell them how high up the charts their songs went that week. No convenience of mobile phones and the internet in those days.
Should you go and see this show? Hell, yes! It’s bright, breezy and loving in its portrayal of Cilla’s life and the music scene in the 60’s. You will come out of the auditorium on a high with classic songs ringing in your ears.
Cilla is showing at Hull New Theatre this week until Saturday (22nd September). Don’t miss this treat while it’s here! Tickets are available from hulltheatres.co.uk and start at just £16.50.