"SOMETHING tells me something's gonna happen tonight..." were the immortal words belted out by leading lady Kara Lily Hayworth in the closing number of Tuesday's opening night of Cilla at the Bristol Hippodrome.

She wasn't far wrong.

But the performance being halted for 20 minutes while two audience members received medical treatment is not what made this performance noteworthy, nor I hazard a guess that what theatregoers will remember most of the evening.

No, what will bring people back to the theatre for many years to come to see this musical again is most definitely the talent that brings this heartwarming account of those early years in showbiz to life.

Jeff Pope's musical telling the tale of singer and Saturday night TV icon Cilla Black is every bit as glitzy and uplifting as the late 1990s set of Blind Date, with several thousand sequins and spotlights thrown in for good measure.

From Merseyside's heartbeat of music clubs, nurturing the likes of The Beatles and Gerry and the Pacemakers, came the somewhat timid redhead who spoke at a rate of knots in a fit of nervous energy to her audience. But give her a backing band and she knew how to work her way to the top.

And with the vocal range that Hayworth displayed on her opening night, it's safe to say she has an equally long and successful career ahead of her.

It may feel strange to see The Beatles cast as the support act, but Cilla's friendship with The Fab Four is a really interesting angle from which to view the hedonistic swinging sixties.

What makes Pope's musical retelling of Cilla's life even more poignant is the innocence of the blossoming romance between the leading lady and aspiring music manager mogul Bobby Willis, played by Carl Au. His own credentials of dancing alongside the Pet Shop Boys and Lady Gaga would have Bobby green with envy.

Ably supported by Corrie's Andrew Lancel as Brian Epstein, this is one prime time Saturday night show not to be missed.

The theatre's staff and the St John's Ambulance volunteers also deserve a standing ovation for the professional manner in which they handled a difficult situation, and hope both patients are on their way to a speedy recovery.

Cilla The Musical is at Bristol Hippodrome until Saturday.