A new star has been chosen to play the lead role in ‘Cilla – The Musical’ following a national talent search.
The musical stage adaptation of acclaimed TV mini-series ‘Cilla’, based on the early life of Cilla Black, will make its world premiere at the Liverpool Empire in September.
Kara Lily Hayworth will play the Liverpool singer and TV star in the show after making it through the well-attended auditions.
She had queued for four hours at London’s Dominion Theatre for the first rounds and made it through to the final 30, before being picked for a final audition at Liverpool’s Cavern Club where she won the part.
Robert Willis, son of Cilla Black and executive producer of the show, says: “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 we’d found her!”
The performer, who is originally from Watford and trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama, will head be heading out on tour for the first time when she plays Cilla.
Kara says: “When I was 11 I was shopping out 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.”
Following the 7-16 September run in Liverpool, ‘Cilla – The Musical’ will embark on a nationwide tour.