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Dartford: The early life of Cilla Black in the spotlight with Cilla - The Musical

By Angela Cole

There’ll be a lorra, lorra laughs and love when the life and legend of Cilla Black comes to the stage in Kent.

Cilla – The Musical is a heartwarming musical adaptation of the ITV mini series by BAFTA award winner, Jeff Pope on the early life of the singer and TV presenter, who died in 2015 aged 70 from a stroke.

The Bill Kenwright and Laurie Mansfield production includes one of the star’s sons, Robert Willis, as executive producer.

Cilla the Musical tour opens at the Orchard Theatre, Dartford

Priscilla White was an ordinary teenage girl from Liverpool who had a rocky, but incredible, rise to fame.

By the age of 25 she was international singing star Cilla Black and by 30 she had become Britain’s favourite television entertainer going on to present Blind Date and Surprise Surprise. It was an introduction by a young John Lennon to music mogul Brian Epstein that changed her life forever.

The Bill Kenwright production, Cilla the Musical, looks at the early days of her career

The music in the show is the soundtrack to the 1960s including hits Anyone Who Had a Heart, Alfie and Something Tells Me, alongside the Liverpool Sound of the times including the Beatles’ Twist and Shout, and American influences like California Dreamin’ by the Mamas and The Papas.

Kara Lily Hayworth, star of Cilla the Musical Picture: Jono Symonds

Kara Lily Hayworth stars as Cilla, who beat thousands of hopefuls in nationwide open auditions for the coveted role.

The musical also reunites Tom Dunlea, Michael Hawkins and Gemma Brodrick-Bower, all of who starred in the original mini-series.

Read our review of the show here

Cilla the Musical will be at the Orchard Theatre in Dartford first as part of a national tour

Andrew Lancel, best known as villain Frank Foster in Coronation Street, plays the role of Brian Epstein, which he also played in Epstein – The Man Who Made The Beatles.


Cilla the Musical will be at the Orchard Theatre, Dartford from Tuesday, January 16 to Saturday, January 20. To book tickets visit orchardtheatre.co.uk or call 01322 220000.

Cilla the Musical

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