Lancashire Times
A Voice of the North
Graham Clark
Features Writer
2:31 PM 24th January 2018

Cilla - The Musical, Grand Opera House, York

Chances are if you are reading this you are a big Cilla Black fan. If you go to see this entertaining production you will not be disappointed.

The story follows Cilla from typing pool to the top of the charts. Kara Lily Hayworth who plays Cilla has the Liverpudlian accent off to a tee and she does sound like her.

Starting off in 1962 the story follows her career right up to the early 70's when she had her own TV series.

Of course with her performing in her early days at The Cavern she strikes up a friendship with the Beatles who are present in the show. Andrew Lancel excels at playing Brian Epstein, Lancel is best known for playing Frank Foster in Coronation Street.

He had the charm of Epstein yet tried to hide his sexuality. Another Coronation Street favourite Pauline Fleming, who was one of Mike Baldwin's girlfriends, plays Cilla's mother.

Neil MacDonald as Cilla's dad has some witty lines and good advice for the young star, whilst Carl Au as Bobby is ever present throughout the musical, just like he was in Cilla Black's life.

Issues like religion, loyalty, friendship, sexuality and the price of fame are dealt with during the show.

Then there are the songs and this is where the magic really starts. The version of Alfie where Kara shows off her superb vocals was superb as was Anyone Who Has A Heart. I never knew the song was going to be offered to Shirley Bassey.

We learn how her career comes to a halt in America as Cher releases a version of Alfie weeks before Cilla's version.

The cast are multi talented with many swapping roles and also playing musical instruments too.

The show ends with a version of Twist and Shout with all the audience now on their feet as the whole ensemble grace the stage.

This a musical that is for anyone who had a heart, a real joy.

Runs until Saturday 27 January

Telephone 0844 871 3024