It is undeniable this was a very unusual show.
The cast of Cilla is amazing. Kara Lily Hayworth was stunning and a perfect fit for the role, but it was the entire ensemble which made the show a success.
We were promised a trip back to Liverpool in 1963 and we got it: It felt like Cilla herself as well as the Beatles and The Mamas and Papas were on the Bristol Hippodrome Stage.
As soon as Twist and Shout played, a glance around the room showed people lip syncing, heads bopping and the odd person dancing in their seats and that is the best part of the show: When you are drawn in and are ready to participate and dance in front of the stage.
The joy of shows based around singers and musicians is always how the songs fit seamlessly into the storyline.
A personal highlight (for me, and probably most of the audience) was ‘You’re My World’, because it brought the song alive and transported us straight to the Palladium.
Watching a show, I always admire how they handle everything on stage: A wrong step, lighting issues, a misplaced prop – often it is hard to tell if something was an actual mishap or planned. So having to keep going no matter what (until the show was actually interrupted) must be one of the hardest things to do.
Shortly after 10pm, paramedics were called to a medical emergency in the room while Cilla and Bobby (Carl Au) were on stage with most of the ensemble. The show was interrupted while first responders treated first one, then two casualties until the ambulance arrived.
So well done to the entire cast and staff for dealing extremely well with the two medical emergencies which interrupted the second act last night. The applause for the paramedics and first responders was well deserved.
The show started again… with Cilla singing ‘Something Tells Me (Something’s Going to Happen Tonight)’. Yes, the room broke out into a laughter for a moment.
It wasn’t easy to bring back the energy, though the cast did their best. They were back in full form and eventually, everyone was up on their feet dancing along to the grand finale.