Regional Theatre Review: Cilla the Musical

Date Posted: 28/09/2017

Kara Lily Hayworth, Cilla The Musical

A review of the UK tour of Cilla the Musical, judging leading lady, Kara Lily Hayworth, to be the highlight of the show.

Kara Lily Hayworth who plays Cilla is absolutely amazing. She radiates star-quality; her vocals are incredible, and she does the memory of the late Cilla Black proud in her renditions of well-known songs and displays of her endearing personality.

Cilla Black fans will love the show – and from the two standing ovations and ongoing applause after many of the songs, it’s clear the audience were absolutely hooked. Popular songs that everyone was expecting, like Alfie and You’re My World were shot full of passion, to the point where audience members around were shedding tears.

In a nutshell, Cilla the Musical is a tribute to the lady herself. The show, an idea originated by her son, had Cilla herself involved in its beginnings – so to see it now as a big show on stage with Cilla having passed away in 2015 makes the show even more poignant to those who were fans when she was alive.

The story itself is a chronological presentation of Cilla’s rise to fame, and watches her climb from a poor life in Liverpool to an A List sky high lifestyle with the help of her manager Brian Epstein, played by Andrew Lancel, and her life-long love Bobby, played by Carl Au. The pair of leading men put on solid performances, but are often outshone by Hayworth’ dramatised charism and vocal abilities.

Highlight points of the show include Cilla trying to break America with the fun performance of Dancing in the Street, and a jaw-dropping delivery of Don’t Answer Me, which had many people reaching for the tissues. 

Kara Lily Hayworth, Cilla The Musical

It was hoped that Cilla the Musical would offer something different, but instead, it was similar to many shows before it. There are minimal set changes and some songs that had no dancing to accompany them. It’s an easy watch – enjoyable and portraying an interesting rags-to-riches story – but it doesn’t bring a huge amount that’s new to the stage apart from its leading lady.

However, if you love biographical musicals like The Commitments, Sunny Afternoon, and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, (plus adore everything about Cilla Black) Cilla the Musical will be right up your street.

Cilla the Musical is touring theatres until March, with more dates to be announced. Group travel organisers should contact their chosen venues for information on group rates.

Milton Keynes Theatre

Theatre-goers will find a variety of shows running most nights at Milton Keynes Theatre. The upcoming autumn and winter season includes operas from Glyndebourne (including Hamlet), a Christmas pantomime of Cinderella starring Gok Wan, and an array of one-night shows such as The Sensational 60’s Experience.

Milton Keynes Theatre has group rates available for many of its shows, offered by the Ambassadors Theatre Group.

GTOs can find out more by visiting www.atgtickets.com

Both images: Pictured is Kara Lily Hayworth as Cilla. (Photo credit: Matt Martin).

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