CILLA – KARA LILY HAYWORTH
BOBBY – CARL AU
BRIAN EPSTEIN – ANDREW LANCEL
BIG CILLA – PAULINE FLEMING
JOHN WHITE – NEIL MacDONALD
JOHNNY HUTCHINSON – TOM DUNLEA
PAT – BILLIE HARDY
ROSE WILLIS – AMY BRIDGES
PAULINE – GEMMA BRODRICK-BOWER
RINGO STARR – BILL CAPLE
PAUL McCARTNEY/ DENNY DOHERTY – JOSHUA GANNON
KENNY WILLIS – TOM CHRISTIAN
JOHN LENNON – MICHAEL HAWKINS
Venue: Theatre Royal, Newcastle
Date: Friday 2nd March 2018
A truly lovely tribute to Cilla Black a much-loved singer and entertainer who sadly passed away in 2015. This was a great way for my generation to really learn about her background, where she came from and everything she did before the 1990s and her TV career. As I’m going to be brutally honest my main experience when I was younger was seeing her on Surprise Surprise and Blind Date. Obviously I then knew more about her singing and a few of her songs, so this was the perfect show to get to know her a little bit better.
Born Pricilla White in Liverpool and performing with The Beatles in The Cavern before they all made it big. In a time when getting to number one was really the biggest aim and honour. It just doesn’t feel that way anymore with no Top of the Pops or a big deal made about selling records, just check out the digital download chart now! I found that a pretty interesting aspect of the show in all honesty to show how times have changed a lot and that is something that you can never really get away from.
The production takes on a pretty simple form in terms of set, being either on stage, in the recording studio or back in the house in Liverpool. I think that just shows that it really didn’t need anything else as it would have taken away from the story and how some of the songs came about. It showed Brian Epstein battling his demons as he found The Beatles and Cilla trying to get them world-wide success.
Performance wise I found Kara Lily Hayworth as Cilla to be fantastic, engaging with each part of the role. Having a truly incredible singing voice and really became the character, something which must be extremely difficult for a very popular star. The placement of the songs is very good and I must admit that I really do love “Anyone Who Had a Heart” and it is the perfect end to the first act. I also thought she had great chemistry with Carl Au who tries his very best for Cilla and it really is just a fantastic love story. The Beatles were also great as well, I was sitting pretty high up at the Theatre and thought they looked very good too.
I enjoyed how it was very clever to link the other performers and how they all started out at a similar time. The songs also linking together with some just lovely moments, especially with the budding romance between Cilla and Bobby.
A very enjoyable and lovely show from start to finish! I throughly enjoyed being able to learn a lot more about Cilla Black and I am sure many more people will as well.