REVIEW: Cilla – The Musical at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

The cast of Cilla - The Musical in action. Photo By Matt Martin

Cilla – The Musical is the musical adaptation of the critically acclaimed ITV mini-series based on the early life of Cilla Black.

Premiering in Liverpool in August, Bafta winner Jeff Pope’s new production is currently touring the country, telling the tale of Merseyside’s national television treasure.

Unlike most jukebox musicals in which the songs are strung together with little-to-no-plot, Cilla is a stage biography chronologically depicting her rise to fame in the 1960s. Consequently, hits from other bands of the time feature throughout such as Mamas and Papas and, most frequently, The Beatles, with whom Cilla struck up a friendship during their Cavern Club days.

Sheridan Smith’s portrayal of Cilla in the TV drama set the bar incredibly high but Kara Lily Hayworth certainly measured up. With barely a moment off-stage, she was the heart of the show with her fantastic acting and vocals. Anyone Who Had A Heart and You’re My World, Cilla’s number one singles, were simplying spellbinding.

Carl Au also impressed as Cilla’s lover, Bobby Willis.

The audience were on their feet for the finale; it was therefore a strange decision to end with Through the Years that, whilst impressive, saw the crowd sit back down again.

Nevertheless, a hugely impressive new musical. Head to the Mayflower for a lorra lorra entertainment.

Until Saturday.

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