A stunning and elegant review of the life of Cilla Black soars its way through the 60s when it comes to Lighthouse on 27 September. Starring the effervescent Victoria Jones, Cilla and the Shades of the 60s rediscovers one of music's most defining eras.
We couldn't wait to ask Victoria more about this uplifting and unforgettable show ...
What do you enjoy most about performing Cilla and the Shades of the 60s?
I've always adored 60s music; the songs of that era had such a raw sound which I love.
I really think I was born in the wrong decade! Performing as Cilla gives me the opportunity to celebrate the fashion and sound of a generation of women who were beginning to make a real difference in the music industry and across the world. The Shades are all so talented so it's great to share a stage with them. We all have great energy and chemistry together on stage and off.
Name your 3 favourite songs in the show
It’s hard to name only three! Anyone Who Had A Heart, Shout, These Boots Are Made For Walkin’ .
And your favourite scene?
I love my opening song, Love of The Loved, so when I hear the first few bars and the spotlight comes on, I get butterflies. That is one of my favourite moments. I also enjoy the Blind Date section, mainly because I love meeting people. The Shades and I do have a giggle with the questions and answers.
Did you ever meet Cilla and/or was she an inspiration in your journey to become a professional singer?
Unfortunately I never got the opportunity to meet Cilla but my aunts used to see her out and about in Liverpool. Growing up I only knew Cilla as a TV presenter; it wasn't until later on in my teens I heard her music and was amazed by her vocal range. I used to do vocal impressions when I was younger so I quickly added Cilla to my list. I find her ballads beautiful and she's great at portraying heartbreak which is so moving to hear. Her passion has definitely inspired me.
Coming from Liverpool, do you feel a special connection to Cilla?
When I travel around the country being a red headed Scouser I always get compared to Cilla... or Sheridan Smith! I do feel a connection there, she too was a bold girl from a working class background who just loved to perform. She really made huge changes for women back in the 60s. She could take on The Beatles, beat the big American stars with songs like Alfie, host her own TV show and made every 'normal' girl feel like big things were possible.
Which songs do you know the audience will join in on?
The biggest audience reaction I get is for You're My World. At that point in the show they’ve been through quite an emotional journey and it is such a powerful number. I absolutely love singing it as it was the first Cilla song I ever performed. Plus it's one of my dad's favourites!
Who’s your current favourite singer?
I love the raspy, power house voices of Lulu and Tina Turner but my favourite current artist has got to be Sia. She expresses so much emotion in her vocal performance and seems to have a never ending range, I really appreciate that she writes all her own songs too. I also love the singers Postmodern Jukebox feature. They take modern songs and play around with the arrangement giving them a vintage jazz twist. I could listen to them all day, I'm thrilled when artists can mix elements from different decades and creatively make them their own.
Tell us a fun backstage story
Where do I begin on crazy backstage stories? As most of us have worked together for a long time we've accumulated a lot!! We did once get asked if we could do a Spice Girls medley and we thought ‘yeah, why not’. What they didn’t mention was that it was at a funeral!
What are you most looking forward to on this tour?
I'm really looking forward to the tour as I can do what I love doing while being on the road with some of my closest friends. We had an absolute blast last year when we did the first tour and honestly, it’s been my favourite job since I started singing professionally! Each song is a pleasure to perform, I don't just feel like a singer, I get the opportunity to use my acting skills too. And of course it’s fantastic playing for audiences in different towns and cities, we really do have a lot of fun on tour.