Cilla The Musical review: A new musical showcasing some of the greatest songs of the 60’s, revolving around the life of one of its icons.
Cilla The Musical review by Katey Thompson.
Cilla is perhaps best known to us as Cilla Black of ‘Blind Date‘ TV fame, however, she is a British icon who had been entertaining the nation since the 60s, born Pricilla Maria Veronica White. She was born out of the Liverpool music scene of the 60s and won peoples affections with No 1 hit singles ‘Anyone Who Had a Heart’ and ‘You’re My World’. It was her inner star quality and natural likeability that kept her in touch with her audience, combined with a talent for singing, writing, comedy acting and presenting kept her in the public spotlight for half a century.
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The stage show tells of her rise to fame from her time working as a cloakroom attendant at the Cavern Club in Liverpool. Meetings with the likes of The Beatles and other icons inspired her, and then a Liverpool Promoter Sam Leach encouraged her to sing. An early review mistook her surname and from then she took on the identity of which we are most familiar, Cilla Black.
The production gives a lively reprise to her back catalogue, with excellent live music by the stage band. It covered a decade of her hits during her time with Brian Epstein but doesn’t extend to her television career for which she became most famous with a generation of fans watching her Saturday night shows of ‘Surprise Surprise’ and ‘Blind Date’. Her hits including ‘Anyone Who Had a Heart’, along with a large number of ‘Beatles’ numbers were well performed. However, some the staging and acting is a little disappointing as the first half of the show felt a bit predictable and very routine. The performances improved slightly during the second half and overall was a pleasant show.
The proceedings could have benefitted from being a bit more stage raz-mataz, but prehaps the lack of this was a reflection on Cilla being essentially a peoples performer.
As an entertainment heavyweight, and as popular a singer this show does not do justice to all the different roles Cilla has had, but she will always have a special place in the British public’s heart, and looking back at this selected time in her remarkable life depicts the showbiz legend perfectly.
Cilla The Musical review by Katey Thompson, March 2018.
Cilla The Musical is running at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking until 24th March 2018.