Cilla the Musical arrived at the Blackpool Winter Gardens this week, and with having low expectations after hearing some of my friend’s thoughts, I have to admit that it took me by surprise. The show comes packed with stunning vocals, cleverly timed humor, and hard-hitting emotional moments.
The script was well written and focused on the early life of Cilla and her music career before she started on television. Featuring songs by Cilla, The Beatles, and the Mamas and the Papas, there’s a little something here for everyone. In the show we see the shy young Cilla take on the perils of the music industry with her unexpected rock, Bobby Willis. You can tell that this musical is trying to tell the true story, as they don’t try to cover up the diva side she grew with her rising fame. Which I’m sure if Cilla was here she would be glad about, as it helped her grow into the personality we all came to know and love.
Taking on the role of national treasure Cilla Black, Kara Lily Hayworth does an impeccable job. Her vocals didn’t disappoint or drop for a second, from the moment she was on stage she commanded a presence and had the audience watching in awe. My favourite moment has to be when she sang You’re my world, I had goosebumps and tears in my eyes from the way her voice just sounded effortless, and after talking to a few of the other audience members we agreed it was like listening to the ghost of Cilla singing one more time.
One thing that does bring down the show is the diegetic feel. The songs in particular moved so quickly that the audience was left wondering whether to clap or not, which made some of the scene changes awkward to watch. By the finale medley when the audience are supposed to get up and dance the cast, for a good few minutes, were left trying and failing to get us all to participate, before one brave audience member cued for us all to get involved. Despite this flaw they still managed to get a full house standing ovation, which was rightly deserved.
Finally, I’d recommend seeing the show, even if you’re not a Cilla fan you are guaranteed to enjoy the storyline and some old time classics. To step inside the theatre and see this show is to ‘Step inside Love’ (sorry).
Cilla runs at Blackpool Winter Gardens until 21 October. For more information or to book visit wintergardensblackpool.co.uk
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