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Lorra Lorra Sixties nostalgia with 'Cilla'

Cilla and the Shades of the 60s, The Albany Theatre, Earlsdon, June 24 only.

As someone who spent his teenage years throughout the 1960s, this was right up my street.

I well remember Cilla, prior to her nose job, as she burst on the scene with ‘Anyone who had a heart’ and I also recall that I forked out the necessary 6/8d to purchase it.

The audience were given an insight into the perky working class girl from Liverpool and her rise to a major singing star.

This show captures the atmosphere and the music from that exciting era in which Cilla Black certainly played a significant part.

The tribute act was brilliantly performed by Victoria Jones who displayed all of Cilla’s mannerisms particularly when interacting with the audience.

All of Cilla’s major hits including ‘You’re my World’, ‘Alfie’ and ‘Step Inside Love’ were superbly delivered in a voice that I must admit I found preferable to the ‘harsher’ tones of the real Cilla.

The Shades are a three-piece female trio who gave renditions of many of the hits of the Swinging Sixties, especially those performed by girl bands and female artists.

The hits of the likes of The Crystals, Martha and The Vandellas, Dusty Springfield, Tina Turner and Lulu are performed with immense enthusiasm and the audience are soon clapping and joining in with the singing. The Shades were complemented by three very energetic female dancers and the choreography helped bring the production and audience to life as even I remembered how to hand jive. The second act acknowledges Cilla’s later career in television when she was able to demonstrate that she still had the common touch as she presented shows that were very high in the ratings in the 80s and 90s. A staged episode of ‘Blind Date’ is even performed as a man from the audience has to pick one of the Shades to be his date.

All the performers work tirelessly throughout the production and there is a rousing rendition of ‘River Deep, Mountain High’ to round things off. Most of the appreciative audience were probably around during the Swinging Sixties and the fact that they seemed to thoroughly enjoy it shouldn’t really come as a ‘surprise surprise’.

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