The star of Cilla the Musical says performing on the same stage her character once did will be a ‘special’ moment.
Kara Lily Hayworth won a standing ovation for her portrayal of Cilla Black in the household favourite’s hometown of Liverpool at the show’s premiere in September.
Next week, she will step onto the Opera House stage as the late star - 45 years after she performed there in the International Spectacular.
Kara, 29, who beat thousands of hopefuls in open auditions for the coveted role, said: “To be going on the same stage she was on will be quite special.”
Kara said she grew up watching Cilla on TV, going to her nan’s house to watch Blind Date. She learned about her past as a singer, and how she was championed by the Beatles, after watching ITV mini-series Cilla, on which the musical was based.
“My nan was a fan of her music but I did not know much about her pop career,” she said.
Written by BAFTA Award-winning Jeff Pope, the musical will play from Tuesday until Saturday, October 21, and tells the story of the ‘ordinary girl from Liverpool whose teenage dreams of stardom lead her to becoming one of Britain’s best-loved entertainers of all time’.
And Blackpool, where Cilla also played in the 60s, makes a backdrop appearance - although it’s not a familiar place for Kara, who hails from Buckinghamshire.
“I don’t think I have ever been,” she said. “I’m very excited. Our opening night is on Tuesday but we have to be there for one-ish and then we have two shows on Wednesday, two on Thursday, and two on Saturday. Maybe on the Friday we might have time to have a little look around.”
The show marks a return to the resort for ex-Corrie and The Bill actor Andrew Lancel, who played Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music here last year, and a one-man show at The Sands on several occasions.
He plays Beatles manager Brian Epstein in Cilla and said: “I’m made up we are coming to Blackpool.
“It’s such a mish-mash of people who are there [in the audience] so it’s a mix, and they like a show.
“And I can tell you - I can promise you - this is a show.”
Tickets start from £27.50.
Cilla - THE MUSICAL
Opera House, Blackpool
Tuesday until Saturday, October 21
Call 0844 856 1111