Theatre News

Cilla the Musical finds its leading lady

Kara Lily Hayworth will be having a lorra lorra laughs on tour with this new musical

Kara Lily Hayworth
Kara Lily Hayworth
© Jono Symonds

Initial casting has been announced for a brand new musical based on the life of legendary entertainer Cilla Black.

Kara Lily Hayworth, who was most recently seen playing Satine in Secret Cinema's immersive Moulin Rouge, will take on the titular role in Cilla the Musical. After queuing for four hours to attend the open auditions at London's Dominion Theatre, she was subsequently cast in the role following a final audition at the famous Cavern Club in Liverpool.

The production is a musical adaptation of the critically acclaimed ITV mini-series by BAFTA award winner, Jeff Pope. It opens at the Liverpool Empire from in September before embarking on a nationwide tour.

Black's eldest son, Robert Willis said: "We wanted somebody who wasn’t going to impersonate my mum but someone who could capture her spirit. Kara came in with her huge personality and amazing voice – when I saw the response of the audience at the Cavern, I knew she was the one my mum would have wanted!"

Talking about Cilla, which will be the Central School of Speech and Drama graduate's first leading role in a major musical production, Hayworth said: "When I was 11 I was shopping with my mum and bumped into Cilla and asked her for an autograph. I told her I wanted to be an actress – she laughed and said ‘It’s a tough industry, but if you really work hard and go for it, you’ll be just fine.’

"She was a huge inspiration to me as a child; I grew up watching her on Blind Date every Saturday night with my Nan. To be chosen to play her is such an honour and I’m so excited to take on the role. To open in her hometown of Liverpool is so special and a real privilege."

The musical will feature songs of the '60s including Cilla’s greatest hits "Anyone Who Had a Heart", "Alfie" and "Something Tells Me".

Cilla the Musical opens at the Liverpool Empire from 7 to 16 September, before continuing on tour.

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