Review: Cilla The Musical at The Liverpool Empire

Kara Lily Hayworth as Cilla. Photo by Matt Martin.

There wasn’t an empty seat last night at the world premiere of Cilla the Musical  at The Liverpool Empire where the audience were introduced to the amazing talent of Kara Lily Hayworth.

Kara  as Cilla,  plays alongside Andrew Lancel as Brian Epstein and Carl Au as Bobby in the heart-warming musical adaptation of the critically acclaimed ITV television series by Bafta-Award winner Jeff Pope.

When Priscilla White is introduced by John Lennon (Michael Hawkins) to music mogul Brian Epsteinshe is set to become his only female client as he takes her on a journey to create ‘the people’s diva’.

Photo by Matt Martin

Cilla has no idea how much her life is about to change from her humble beginnings  living above a hairdressing salon to topping the charts and topping the bill.  At the heart of the narrative, there’s also a love story about Cilla’s relationship with Bobby.  The chemistry between these two leading characters is perfect and demonstrates the bond between them from the start which could not  be broken despite the obstacles they faced along the way.

Photo by Matt Martin

You can’t fail to become emotionally involved with the performance by Kara Lily Hayworth as she captures the spirit of Cilla and portrays her life in such a way that you could almost believe she is Cilla.  Her voice is outstanding and the audience are on their feet applauding well before the final curtain.  Even the end of the first Act, Kara received a well-earned standing ovation after her rendition of ‘Anyone Who Had a Heart’.

There is a mixture of darkness and light throughout the show.  Cilla’s parents (Paul Broughton and Pauline Fleming) and her friends Amy Bridges  as Rose and Gemma Brodrick-Bower as Pauline add plenty of light relief with excellent performances.  Andrew Lancel is magnificent in his role as Brian Epstein showing his success as a musical mentor crossed with the torment he faced hiding his sexuality before he died from an accidental overdose.

The show captures the mood of the period when Liverpool was the centre of the musical universe and will have you laughing, crying, singing and dancing!

Purchase your tickets before the show ends; visit      atgtickets.com/liverpool
 
Liverpool Empire Theatre                                
07-16 September

Palace Theatre, Manchester      atgtickets.com/manchester
21 – 25 November

Cilla – The Musical is produced by Bill Kenwright and Laurie Mansfield, alongside Executive Producer Robert Willis