DANIELLE O’MALLEY admits her reaction to UK superstar Cilla Black’s death in 2015 was; “who?”.
This was despite the Melbourne performer having a swag of Black’s songs in her repertoire and even teaching them to her music students.
“I knew the songs, but a lot were sung by other people,” the 30 year old says by way of excuse.
Nonplussed by her lack of knowledge about the red-haired Liverpudlian who rose to fame alongside the Beatles, O’Malley looked Black up.
Hooked by the singer’s energy and style it wasn’t long before O’Malley began writing You’re my World, a biographical cabaret full of powerhouse vocals and the self-deprecating humour that endeared Black to fans across the world.
But while Black was rock n roll from the boots up, O’Malley’s early music career followed a classic route.
A former Perth girl, she won a scholarship to Singapore’s Lasalle College of the Arts and aged 18 headed to Singapore.
“Straight out of school it was an adventure. I had the best time,” she says.
Post-degree she performed with the Singapore opera company, but with her heart set on musical theatre O’Malley headed to Melbourne where she discovered a penchant for cabaret.
“[Even though] it’s more scary…[you] have a script but you have to be prepared to go off script…And when you’ve written it yourself it’s a whole new fear level.”
Her show will introduce Black to new, and old, fans with hits such as Step Inside Love, Anyone Who Had a Heart and Alfie.
As “Cilla” she’ll reminisce about growing up in Liverpool and her meteoric rise to fame.
And she’ll share some cheeky showbiz goss about meeting the queen and her friendship with John, Paul, George and Ringo, who lived around the corner from Black’s childhood home.
You’re My World is on February 7–11, Downstairs at the Maj.
For the full program go to fringeworld.com.au and type Ace’s Cabaret in the search bar.
by JENNY D’ANGER