Cilla Black was a national treasure but before that she was one of the country’s biggest pop sensations in the 60s, when she hung out and sung with The Beatles and all those bands who made up the Mersey Sound that swept the nation before stampeding the US. And before that she was Cilla White, a typist in a typing pool who sung in her bedroom, writes Michael Holland.
Jeff Pope’s Cilla – The Musical, now at Bromley’s Churchill Theatre, takes us on this working class girl’s journey from the backstreets of Liverpool to the heady heights of America’s Ed Sullivan Show, while riding the rollercoaster ups and downs of her love affair with Bobby Willis.
Cilla Black only had a handful of big hits but this show is padded out with many other great songs of the day played by musicians doing very passable impressions of The Beatles, Gerry & The Pacemakers, and other bands around Liverpool at that time.
And Kara Lily Hayworth is quite superb in the title role. She gets the voice and the phrasing just perfectly whether she’s singing as Cilla or talking as her.
Cilla – The Musical focuses on the years when she was recognised up to when she got her first BBC show, and maybe those are the years that people have forgotten. Some only know her as a presenter on some of our iconic Saturday night shows, but this production puts Cilla right back up there with the best of the 1960s’ legends.
An amazing set at Bromley’s Churchill Theatre, switches between backstreet to front room, from The Cavern to Abbey Road studio, from London Palladium to TV studio, and each backdrop showcasing Cilla’s natural, raw talent to perfection.
Catch this show when it comes round.