The search for Cilla comes to London and we went along to check out the competition

The Search is on in London’s West End today for the next star of the stage. A brand new musical about Cilla Black held open auditions at the Dominion Theatre this morning and we popped along to check out the competition.

Thousands of hopefuls lined the streets around the theatre hoping to get their chance to shine, with a good mixture of both professional and non-professional performers all being given a level playing field. In fact, we spotted a few familiar faces from the London stage in the queue, who were trying to be incognito!

Cilla The Musical is an adaptation of the acclaimed ITV mini-series based on the early life of Cilla Black, by BAFTA award winner, Jeff Pope (The Moorside, Philomela, From The Cradle To The Grave, Mrs Biggs). The series starred Sheridan Smith and was greeted with plaudits from both critics and the television viewing public alike.

Sheridan Smith played Cilla Black in the critically acclaimed television drama

The Story follows the extraordinary life of the ordinary teenage girl from Liverpool, Priscilla White, and her rocky yet incredible, rise to fame.

Cilla Black’s son Robert Willis is the Executive Producer of the show and said, “The turn out’s been fantastic, with so many girls turning up to hopefully land the role of Cilla. She would have been incredibly flattered.”

We asked Robert what he was looking for from the aspiring stars and he said, “We’re looking for that ability to be able to hold a tune, but we also have a chat with them to find out a bit about their character and so far we’ve had a whole range.”

Writer Jeff Pope added, “In the same way that Sheridan Smith created such an amazing performance, I think the way’s open for someone else to do the same.”

The musical score will be the ultimate soundtrack to the 60’s including Cilla’s greatest hits “Anyone Who Had a Heart”, “Alfie” and “Something Tells Me”.

Jeff Pope explained, “I wanted it to be a drama with music; to have lots of the great songs but also for the audience to be able to follow a strong story through both acts.”

We will all have to wait to find out who eventually lands the coveted leading role in the musical, with the open auditions around the country making up just part of the selection process.

Cilla – The Musical opens at the Liverpool Empire Theatre in September before embarking on a nationwide tour, which includes a visit to the New Wimbledon Theatre in November


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