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CILLA THE MUSICAL KING'S THEATRE, GLASGOW, 30.01.18.

LIVERPOOL'S gift to the world was the musical genius of the 60s and now its heart is recaptured in this bio of its most famous songbird.

Kara Lily Hayworth had big shoes to fill in terms of Cilla and Sheridan Smith, who starred as the singer in the TV mini-series on which the musical is based.

She outsang them both - and then some.

While she perfected the Liverpool twang, Hayworth was careful not to turn her performance into a caricature.

When she sang Anyone Who Had a Heart - Cilla's first No1 - it was a real buzz.

Bobby Willis (Carl Au) is shown to be a thoroughly decent man who gave up his own ambitions to devote his life to Cilla after meeting her in the Cavern Club.

Former Waterloo road star Au gave him warmth and likeability while showing he had a decent set of pipes himself.

The other central character of Brian Epstein, manager of the Beatles, Gerry and the Pacemakers and Cilla herself, was portrayed by Andrew Lancel.

While he grew into the part a bit in the second act, he was a bit stiff in the role.

The real stars were the musicians who played live as the Beatles, The Big Three and Gerry Marsden, among others.

Even those who were not necessarily Cilla fans were able to enjoy getting caught up in the sound of the 60s.

It may have lost its way a little in the second act but that's perhaps more to do with trying to crunch a three-part mini series into one two-and-a-half hour show than anything catastrophically wrong.

But it is a real crowd pleaser and if you want a feel of the era go to the King's and Step Inside Love for a night of nostalgia.

VIVIENNE AITKEN

CAPTION(S):

LIKEABILITY Hayworth and Au as Cilla and Bobby

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 2, 2018
Words:307
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