Cilla - The Musical to embark on a UK tour
Open auditions will be held to find the lead role
A new musical based on the life of the late entertainer Cilla Black will embark on a tour of the UK, beginning in Liverpool in September.
Cilla - The Musical is a stage adaptation of Jeff Pope's ITV series which starred Sheridan Smith in the lead role, although Smith is unlikely to be involved due to prior commitments with the current tour of Funny Girl. Open auditions for the titular role are to be held nationwide this spring.
The musical, which is produced by Bill Kenwright, Laurie Mansfield and Cilla's son Robert Wills, will follow the life of Black from her teenage years in Liverpool through her rise to fame. The score will feature a host of '60s music including Cilla's much-loved hits "Anyone Who Had a Heart", "Alfie" and "Something Tells Me".
Born Priscilla Maria Veronica White, Black is well known for her work on TV including Blind Date and Surprise Surprise. Her singles "Anyone Who Had a Heart" and "You're My World" both reached number one in the UK in 1964. She died in August 2015 aged 72.
Cilla - The Musical will run at the Liverpool Empire from 7 to 16 September, then tours to Edinburgh (19 to 23 Sept), Milton Keynes (26 to 30 Sept), Southampton (3 to 7 Oct), Birmingham (10 to 14 Oct), Blackpool (17 to 21 Oct), Cardiff (31 Oct to 4 Nov), Wimbledon (7 to 11 Nov), Stoke (14 to 18 Nov) and Manchester (21 to 25 Nov).