Cilla - The Musical heads to the Scottish capital

Kara Lily Hayworth plays one of Britain's best loved entertainers in Cilla - The Musical which is at the Edinburgh Playhouse this week.
Kara Lily Hayworth plays one of Britain's best loved entertainers in Cilla - The Musical which is at the Edinburgh Playhouse this week.

Cilla - The Musical tells the extraordinary story of the ordinary girl from Liverpool whose teenage dreams of stardom lead her to becoming one of Britain’s best-loved entertainers of all time.

And it is coming to the Edinburgh Playhouse this week for a five-night run from September 19-23.

The new show is a spectacular and heart-warming musical adaptation of the critically acclaimed ITV mini-series based on the early life of Cilla Black, by BAFTA award winner, Jeff Pope.

It had its world premiere on September 7 at the Liverpool Empire in Cilla Black’s hometown.

It’s an introduction by a young John Lennon to music mogul Brian Epstein that changes Priscilla White’s life forever. By the age of just 25 she would be known as singer and TV Star Cilla Black, number one selling artist and at the fore-front of the Brit-Pop music scene. The musical score is the ultimate soundtrack to the 60’s including Cilla’s greatest hits Anyone Who Had a Heart, Alfie and Something Tells Me, Twist and Shout by the Beatles, California Dreamin by The Mamas and The Papas’ and many more.

Full casting for Bill Kenwright’s new musical features: Andrew Lancel (Brian Epstein); Carl Au (Bobby); Amy Bridges (Rose Willis); Gemma Brodrick-Bower (Pauline); Paul Broughton (John White); Bill Caple (Ringo Starr); Tom Christian (Kenny Willis); Tom Dunlea (Hutch); Pauline Fleming (Big Cilla); Joshua Gannon (Paul McCartney); Billie Hardy (Pat); and Michael Hawkins (John Lennon).

They join the previously announced Kara Lily Hayworth as Cilla, who beat thousands of hopefuls in nationwide open auditions for the coveted role. More than 120 Cilla hopefuls auditioned in the Scottish capital, when the open auditions came to the Edinburgh Playhouse earlier this year in May.

Kara revealed what audiences can expect from the show: “It’s a wonderful story which is full of Cilla’s hits - her big number ones and there are also songs by The Beatles. It is a beautiful story written by Jeff Pope who wrote the television series.

“It tells the love story between Cilla and Bobby. The musical features the same part of Cilla’s life as the television series, but there are a lot more songs and it is quite different in the way it is presented on stage.”

Kara revealed her favourite songs to perform: “I love singing Alfie by Burt Bacharach. I also enjoy singing Anyone Who Had A Heart and the reaction from the audience when I sing this is amazing. The first time I did it, it took my breath away.”

Kara said it is a priviledge to be playing such an iconic role: “I feel very lucky and so honoured to be playing this part. It was quite nerve-wracking

to perform on stage in Liverpool as it was Cilla’s hometown and she was such a well-loved figure but the reaction we got was amazing and I can’t wait to perform in Edinburgh.

“I did a play at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe a few years ago and I loved it.”

The musical reunites Tom Dunlea, Michael Hawkins and Gemma Brodrick-Bower, all of whom starred in Jeff Pope’s original ITV mini-series Cilla, on which the musical is based. It also reunites Andrew Lancel with the role of Epstein, which he played on stage to great critical acclaim in Epstein – The Man Who Made The Beatles. Andrew is best known to TV audiences as super-villain Frank Foster in Coronation Street and as DI Neil Manson in the long-running ITV television series The Bill.

The legendary Merseybeat sound is authentically performed live on stage by the cast who are completed by: Alan Howell; Jay Osbourne; Alex Harford; Will Kinnon; Jenny Murphy; Tom Sowinski; and Christopher Weeks.

Cilla – The Musical is produced by Bill Kenwright and Laurie Mansfield, alongside executive producer and Cilla’s son, Robert Willis and directed by Bill Kenwright and Bob Tomson.

For tickets visit: www.atgtickets.com/shows/cilla/edinburgh-playhouse/