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CILLA - The Musical: Inside the musical instruments of the new theatre show

Laura  Barnes
CILLA - The Musical: Inside the musical instruments of the new theatre show

Following the successful television series, a new musical about Cilla Black has hit the boards.

The new musical is an adaptation of the critically acclaimed ITV series by Bafta Award winner Jeff Pope. It tells the story of the teenage girl from Liverpool whose dreams of stardom lead to her becoming one of Britain’s best-loved entertainers.

It’s an introduction by a young John Lennon to music mogul Brian Epstein that changes Pricilla White’s life forever. By the age of just 25 she would be known as singer and TV Star Cilla Black, as well as a number one selling artist.

The musical score is the ultimate soundtrack to the 60s including Cilla’s greatest hits Anyone Who Had a Heart, Alfie and Something Tells Me.
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MI Pro spoke to Shirley Mclean from music company endorsement/sponsorship company SMPRC – who also worked with Cilla Black as a backing singer – about her involvement with sourcing instruments for the new theatre show.

“We have been assisting production with vintage instruments and equipment from the 1960s. The musical is a homage to the Merseybeat sound, so that includes other bands like The Beatles and iconic venues like The Cavern Club.”

“We were moved that the relevant music companies stepped forward to support the project with original instruments from private collections,” said Mclean.

“The instrument companies were as much a part of the Merseybeat sound as The Beatles, The Big 3, Gerry and The Pacemakers, etc.”

“Hofner gifted the show a beautiful left handed bass, and offered some rare vintage guitars from their personal collection.”

“Gibson Brands sourced a stunning 355 for The Big Three, and Zildjian supplied the authentic Ringo cymbal set up,” she told MI Pro.

“Other brands, such as Mapex stepped forward with a beautiful Saturn black strata kit, a lovely gesture.

“Certainly, as far as we know this may be a first for a musical to secure endorsements. Instrument companies have done us proud.”

Mclean said that Cilla would have loved the involvement of the iconic brands. “It is really touching that they have chosen to support the musical. Cilla would have loved it!”

Talking about her personal experiences working with the singer and TV presenter, she reminisced: “Singing those iconic hits with the original Cilla was quite an experience. It’s weird working with production many years later!

“Funny, pretty, witty, bright and a decent human being – that was our Cilla.”

Cilla – The Musical opened in Liverpool in September, where it received a standing ovation.

Take a look at the official trailer for the show below and find out all the show dates at

Tags: Cilla the musical , cilla black , shirley mclean

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