Executive Producer and Cilla Black’s son, Robert Willis, said of Kara Lily Hayworth: ‘I knew she was the one my mum would have wanted!’.
And it's easy to see why - Hayworth is simply stunning in the eponymous role of this smash-hit musical, which is at the Hawth Theatre, Crawley, this week.
Cilla The Musical 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.
The story follows the extraordinary life of Priscilla White, the teenage girl from Liverpool, and her incredible, but rocky, rise to fame.
Hayworth is the star of the show and deserves every little bit of praise she gets for this role. It's not just the singing - which at times is spine-tingingly good - it's the mannerisms, voice, and emotion she puts into the role. She is the embodiment of Cilla.
And when she sings Anyone Who Had a Heart, it will send chills down your whole body. It's one of the best vocal performances I have ever seen.
But it's not just Hayworth who shines, Alexander Patmore more than holds his own as the committed and down-trodden Bobby Willis. His performance while Hayworth sings the heartbreakingly beautiful Don't Answer Me was, well, heartbreaking.
Andrew Lancel puts in a very sympathetic performance as Brian Epstein, a man who just wants the best for everyone. Jayne Ashley and Neil MacDonald provided the comic relief perfectly as Cilla's mum and dad. And the support cast of musicians and dancers complete what is a wonderful show.
The musical score is everything you associate with the 60s 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.
The story of Cilla is an incredible one, and this show does it a huge amount of justice.
Cilla is on until Saturday November 17.
Running time: 2hrs 50mins includes interval
Tickets: Tue-Thu: £43.50, Wed & Thu 2.30pm: £38, Sat 2.30pm: £40.50, Fri & Sat: £45.50.
Discounts (Tue-Thu): £5 off. Groups 10 or more: £7.50 off.
For more information visit the Hawth's website.