Heart-warming musical follows the rise UK entertainment legend
As the cold November days descend, warm yourself up with a trip to New Wimbledon Theatre to see 'Cilla -The Musical'.
It's hard to think of anyone who won't enjoy following the extraordinary rise to fame of Priscilla White, the typing pool girl turned international singing star and television entertainer.
Cilla Black's greatest hits are all there - Anyone Who Had a Heart, Alfie and Something Tells Me, alongside a backdrop of the legendary "Liverpool Sound" including a memorable rendition of the Beatles’ Twist and Shout.
Kara Lily Hayworth, who fought off thousands of hopefuls in open auditions to win the lead role, has a fantastic singing voice and gave an all-round performance that moved some members of the audience to tears.
Talented Carl Au as her husband-to-be Bobby Willis was also a great singer and proved to be a perfect partner for Kara.
The show, which opened in Cilla's home town of Liverpool, is a musical adaptation of the ITV mini-series based on her early life. Cilla's son Robert Willis is its executive producer.
Music is at the heart of the production, with many of the cast demonstrating they were excellent musicians as they performed in a range of bands which featured in Cilla's burgeoning career.
There was also a real sense of humour about the show, which didn't take itself too seriously. Paul Broughton as Cilla's father, John White, was the likeable butt of a few of the jokes.
Sadness also came to the fore with role of Brian Epstein, played by Andrew Lancel, who gave a convincing performance as the legendary manager of both Cilla and The Beatles.
The whole production was complemented by wonderful lighting and scenery which saw the stage seamlessly transformed by sets including Cilla's childhood home, the Cavern Club and Ed Sullivan's TV studio.
Naturally there was a rousing finale to the evening, followed by a much-deserved standing ovation for the whole cast. Don't miss this 'feel-good' show before it leaves Wimbledon on Saturday.
By Sue Choularton
November 8, 2017