There’s going to be a musical about Cilla Black’s life!


by Emma Dodds |
Published on

Her son Robert appeared on This Morning

Cilla Black's son, Robert Willis, appeared on This Morning earlier today to announce that there's going to be a musical about his mum's life!

Yep, you read that right - the Queen of Liverpool is going to be commemorated in the theatre later this year.

Robert spoke to Holly Willoughby and Ore Oduba, who was filling in for Phillip Schofield today, and revealed that a theatre show of her life was actually Cilla's final wish.

Cilla in her hey-day as a pop singer (Credit: Getty Images) ©Getty Images

Robert said: "We started this journey with her, and because everything changed obviously after she died, and we had to make the decision whether we went ahead with this or do we not do it...

"But I think for a number of reasons, partly because the script is so good, partly because she wanted it to happen, and I guess for me - maybe it's selfish - but I miss her, you know? And this kind of connects me to her. And we all want to do it for her."

The show, which will be called Cilla - The Musical, will open on September 7 at the Liverpool Empire and go on to tour nationally, before "hopefully going into the West End next year", according to Robert.

Her son Robert appeared on This Morning earlier today (Credit: ITV) ©ITV

He said: "It's very exciting and becoming very real. It's been a long time coming."

They then discussed the biographical ITV drama of Cilla's life which starred Sheridan Smith as his mum: "Before she saw the script, she was a little bit nervous about it because it's her life story and it's about her relationship with my dad, but once she read the script she felt a lot better, and once she saw it, she was thrilled.

"She loved the ITV drama, she was thrilled that people appreciated her as a pop singer. And what that drama did was it repositioned her as a pop singer and that's what she always wanted.

"She was very committed to TV, it was a huge part of her career but in her heart of hearts, she was very youthful, and in her mind she was always a pop singer. So it was wonderful that that drama helped to do that for her."

Sheridan Smith portrayed Cilla in the ITV drama of her life (Credit: ITV) ©ITV

It turns out that it was the ITV show that spurred them onto think of the musical. Robert explained: "We, together with Jeff Pope, the writer, were talking about a potential musical whilst we were doing the edit, and Sheridan did all the songs live, so we felt that it could transition.

"We started talking about it... And hooked us up with the wonderful Bill Kenwright. We had this fantastic meeting and he wanted to produce it and direct it."

Robert went onto talk about his dad's musical talents - songwriter Bobby Willis - and how he was offered a recording contract: "He had to turn it down to focus on my mum, but what's different is when you go from the screen onto the stage, you have to adapt it and things you can do for example."

Cilla in 1970 with Cliff Richard and Lulu (Credit: Getty Images) ©Getty Images

"You will see his audition, so the audience will see that he had a good voice. So if you loved the drama obviously, hopefully you'll love the stage show. It will be different - it's the same story, but you have to tell it differently because it's a different medium."

But that's not all. Robert revealed that they haven't yet casted anyone in the main role as Cilla - and that they're holding open auditions for the part!

He said: "We're going around the whole country to find our Cilla - she's out there, so we've got to find her."

Cilla's heart was in music (Credit: Getty Images) ©Getty Images

He also told viewers how Cilla would have been so chuffed with the statue of her that was erected in Liverpool: "She would have loved it and it would have meant a lot to her."

We don't know about you, but we're going to get in the queue for tickets right now.

Are you going to be getting tickets to see Cilla - The Musical? Let us know over on Facebook and Twitter.

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