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Premier of 'Cilla' musical announced

The new musical will open in September Credit: Liverpool Empire

The premier has been announced of a new musical based on the ITV mini series about Cilla Black.

'Cilla The Musical' will open at the Liverpool Empire on September 7th, running until 16th September before it goes on a nationwide tour. Cilla's son, Robert Willis will be the Executive Producer.

Written by BAFTA winning playwright Jeff Pope it traces the singer's early life from her roots in Liverpool and will feature many of her hits.

Open auditions are to be held for the star role which could see the stage 'Cilla' plucked from obscurity just like the real life singer.

Lancs actor appears in Broadway hit at Winter Gardens

From on-screen fights in EastEnders to the bright lights of musical theatre, Lancashire born John Partridge has had a varied career.

And he's now returning back to where it all started to perform in the Broadway award-winning version of the musical, La Cage Aux Folles at Blackpool's Winter Gardens this week.

Our Entertainment Correspondent Caroline Whitmore went to meet him


Watch: Gary Barlow musical opens in the West End

Tonight is the official opening night of a brand new musical in the West End called The Girls.

It tells the incredible true story of the WI ladies who bared all for a charity calendar and have raised millions for research into Leukaemia.

It's got a stellar cast and is written by none other than Gary Barlow and his partner Tim Firth.

Duncan Wood was at a royal gala performance of the show for us last night - and a warning there is flash photography in this package.

Plans for revamp of Strawberry Field in Liverpool

The plan would see a major revamp of the site Credit: GTV

Plans are being launched to redevelop the site in Liverpool which inspired the Beatles hit Strawberry Fields, on the 50th anniversary of its release.

Its aimed at transforming the former Salvation Army children's home into a heritage and educational centre.

The plan will see it open its famous gates to the public for the first time, featuring a host of never seen Beatles-related memorabilia as part of a new exhibition.

The proposed revival of the site, which played a major part in John Lennon's childhood as he grew up in nearby Woolton, includes a centre for young people with learning disabilities; a new exhibition about the song and John Lennon's early life around Strawberry Field, together with the development of a haven for spiritual exploration.

The iconic gates could soon open to the public for the first time Credit: GTV

Strawberry Field is special in the hearts of many people in Liverpool, the UK and across the world, and we at The Salvation Army are aiming to redevelop the site to do justice to the many people that have been supported by the children's home or formed a connection with the iconic Beatles song.

It's no secret that Strawberry Field was special to John Lennon - it mattered to him - and it feels right to launch our fundraising campaign and new website on the 50 th anniversary of the UK release of Strawberry Fields Forever. We're going to inspire people to become involved in the project in any way they can, to create a pivotal place in the lives of young people and a must-see destination for Beatles fans the world over.

And this is just the beginning. There is much more to share about the site, including its links to John Lennon and The Beatles. Over the next few months we will be letting fans across the globe know just how special this site was to John, as well as showing them how they can be a part of the site's legacy and its future. There are some fantastic plans just around the corner, so watch this space.

– Major Drew McCombe, The Salvation Army

I can think of no better way Strawberry Field could be re-developed in such an innovative way, which gives hope and job opportunities to vulnerable young people, whilst making a valuable and worthwhile contribution to The Beatles Legacy in Liverpool.

– Peter Hooton, Chair of The Beatles Legacy Group


Watch: Warrington remembers Viola Beach one year on from tragedy

Twelve-months-ago today what many were predicting would be the path to stardom for the band Viola Beach ended in tragedy in Sweden.

The car carrying the group and their manager from a gig crashed into a canal, killing them all.

A year on, friends and famiilies have been holding a tribute concert in the band's home town of Warrington.

It was at their old college, from where our correspondent Rob Smith reports:

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