1960s Liverpool saw the birth of a revolution which would change music forever.
It’s the world Priscilla White grew up in, a world where working class girls became secretaries until getting married and having kids. But ‘Cilla’ dreamed of more, and with talent and determination she rose to become an international star and national sweetheart.
BAFTA Award winner Sheridan Smith (Mrs Biggs: The Widower) stars as Cilla Black, the innocent, young Liverpudlian songbird struggling to make her voice heard. Her remarkable story details her friendship with a young group called The Beatles and her struggle to hold onto her dreams whilst torn between the two men in her life – manager Brian Epstein and long term love, Bobby.
Sheridan is joined in the cast by Aneurin Barnard (The White Queen, Citadel, We’ll Take Manhattan) as Cilla’s husband Bobby, Ed Stoppard (The Politician’s Husband, Silent Witness, Branded) as Brian Epstein, John Henshaw (Downton Abbey, Midsomer Murders, South Riding) as Cilla’s father, John White and Melanie Hill (Waterloo Road, Hebburn, Merlin) is Cilla’s mother, Priscilla, known affectionately to her family as Big Cilla.
Penned by acclaimed writer Jeff Pope, 2014 Academy Award nominee for Best Adapted Screenplay for Philomena, Cilla tells of her rocky rise to fame and will capture the essence of 1960s Liverpool, the atmosphere of promise and excitement as the Merseybeat music scene was on the verge of exploding in a blaze of tight-fitting skirts, stiletto heels, and beehives.
In Cilla, sensational ’60s style also comes alive in the costumes. Tell us, which one of Cilla’s minis would have made it into your closet? Take our fun poll here.
Cilla Black’s hits can be heard on The New AM740 ZoomerRadio
Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017 at 8pm ET/5pm PT
It’s 1960’s Liverpool. There’s a renewed energy and excitement across the city as the Merseybeat music scene takes hold. Priscilla White is a typist working in a stifling office environment. She has an amazing singing voice, and yearns for a career in the limelight. After frequenting iconic venues like the Cavern Club and The Iron Door, she is soon mesmerising crowds when invited to perform on stage with rising stars like The Beatles; The Big Three and Kingsize Taylor.
Childhood friend, Ringo Starr, invites her on tour with his band, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, but Cilla’s protective Catholic father may stand in the way. Cilla is distraught, but her spirits are soon lifted when she is swept off her feet by Bobby Willis – a charming, “older” songwriter with a nice car and “successful” career in the music business. He’s impressive on the surface but, will Bobby turn out to be everything Cilla hopes he will be?
Bobby becomes Cilla’s manager but, will he fall by the wayside when Cilla lands an audition with legendary impresario, Brian Epstein? With this one audition paving the way for her musical future, will Cilla be able to make it out of the typing pool and on to the international stage?
Tuesday, Mar. 7, 2017 at 8pm ET/5pm PT
With Bobby’s help, Cilla’s confidence returns and grows, and she is once again dazzling crowds with her amazing voice. The re-emergence of Brian Epstein propels her career to new heights, but what career stumbling blocks will Cilla soon face?
Against Bobby’s judgement Brian convinces her to gamble on a change of direction that could alter her life forever.
Tuesday, Mar. 14, 2017 at 8pm ET/5pm PT
Cilla’s success with Anyone Who Had a Heart is soon followed by her second successive number one, You’re My World. However, a failed attempt to break the American market; her tumultuous relationship with Bobby and the unravelling of Brian’s private life threaten to derail her success.