A dramatic night reviewing ‘Cilla’ at the Bristol Hippodrome

Sophie St Leger reviews ‘Cilla’ at the Bristol Hippodrome for The Interchange…

Services hearts

Last night (March 13) I had the pleasure of seeing ‘Cilla’, the musical at the Bristol Hippodrome. The atmosphere was buzzing with a full crowd of all different ages.

The show started in a bright, blinding blue haze as the lights faced us, and then before you knew it Cilla was stood  in the middle of the stage having a bit of a ‘chin wag’ to the audience. Her dialogue gets a couple of laughs and then all of a sudden the scene changes to a loud music venue.

I have to give credit to the staging crew and performers because every single scene appeared to change so quickly and seamlessly that it almost went unnoticed.

Kara Lily Hayworth was of course the star of the show! Her accent was perfect the whole way through, even when singing she managed to portray it. She is an incredibly talented actress, and singer. When she sang ‘Anyone Who Had a Heart’ she actually gave me goosebumps.

Special credit to Cilla’s dad, Neil Macdonald. He was hilarious and had the audience in stiches from the get go. All he needed to do was lift an eyebrow or squint his face and everyone was in pieces.

The music in this show was fun and lively will lots of audience members (myself and my husband included) bopping our heads and tapping our toes along to the rhythm. There was I recall, at one point a sing along from some of the audience to a song Bobby (Carl Au) was singing.


As a thoroughly enjoyable show came to a close we hit the finale – the atmosphere changed dramatically. A gentleman who was sat behind us started to show signs of distress and pain. We rushed to the back of the theatre to get assistance from St John’s Ambulance, who were brilliant. They immediately jumped into action and attended to him. Then almost out of nowhere a woman sat further down in the theatre needed immediate medical attention also.

This all seemed sort of surreal, as both of these people were led in the isle being attended to, Cilla was up on stage dressed head to toe in sparkles singing to us all. Communication found its way to them very quickly though, and the professionalism they showed was great.


Cilla musical

The music stopped and the cast quickly moved off the stage. The Hippodrome immediately issued an announcement to the audience to keep them informed, and also to remain in their seats.

An ambulance arrived within minutes. In a normal surroundings it must be stressful attending two different casualties, but in a venue such as the Hippodrome with all of those steps, not a lot of space in areas, and surrounding people, they worked around it brilliantly.

My husband and I, along with a good handful of people ended up leaving before the show resumed, mainly just to get out of the way.

My heart went out to the entire cast and all of the other brilliant performers as they didn’t get the full appreciation and applause they deserved for such a good show.

Full praise goes to the exceptionally talented, professional cast of Cilla, the Hippodrome staff, St John’s Ambulance and the NHS paramedics. We wish the two individuals who were taken unwell a speedy recovery.

Cilla is showing at the Bristol Hippodrome until March 17. Tickets can be purchased here.


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