Cilla the Musical at Milton Keynes Theatre
Cilla the Musical at Milton Keynes Theatre

For those in the audience who were teenagers in the 60s
in the UK, Cilla the Musical, is a most pleasing nostalgic journey; for others
the musical brings to life a plethora of great foot- tapping pop songs, belted
out by a young girl with a great voice. Kara Lily Haworth portrays Cilla – a
confident, somewhat brash, character. Kara is easily able to cover the needed
vocal range and her acting ability gives a believable portrait of the life of
Cilla, her triumphs and her heartaches.

Priscilla White’s life is one of those extraordinary,
heart-warming true stories of an ordinary girl hitting the high life. In the
right place at the right time, blessed with a strong voice, determination and a
good manager/husband, Cilla was a pop star with two number ones in the charts,
before she segued into a ‘national treasure’.

Jeff Pope has adequately adapted his TV series Cilla for
the stage. However, 
the first act is
slow  - the setting of the scene somewhat
dull, a Liverpool Club, supposedly  the
Cavern , Bobby and Cilla’s first meeting, the introduction of Brian  Epstein. There is little to enliven the backs
of the jigging fans in the Cavern, with low lights and little energy. The last
song of this act – Anyone Who Had a Heart – does at last bring relief to the

The second act is much more entertaining; there are more
set and light changes, lively choreography and a more interesting story line – will
Cilla be a success in the States, will Booby become a singer, will they part or
not? But again it is the music of the 60s, which is the most captivating - the
ironic ‘You’ve Got to Hide your Love Away, the moving Alfie, the touching
Liverpool Lullaby.

Two other members of the cast deserve praise. Bobby, played
by Alexander Patmore and the tormented Brian, Andrew Lancel. Both actors are
totally believable in their roles, generously supporting Kara.

The finale was lively – the audience on their feet,
dancing and clapping. It is just a shame the first act did not have an equal
amount of energy.


Cilla the Musical is at Milton Keynes Theatre until
Saturday 3rd

0844 8717652

Booking Fee applies