I quite like cats. Which is probably a good thing as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats is pretty much just about a load of different cats! Not a particularly developmental storyline, but nonetheless, a superb production with a stellar cast and intriguing set.
The design of the show was detailed and exciting; I spent half an hour of pre-show time just absorbing as much of the set as possible. I then had the pleasure of getting a close-up view of the costume and make-up as the cats made their way from the stage, right up into the circle and through the audience, to my delight (and slight fear that a bit of audience participation was about to occur…to my relief, it did not!)
Beverley Knight – as Grizabella – was outstanding as one would expect. Only a shame she wasn’t on for much; her rendition of ‘Memory’ was truly magical. It was quite a contrast from her role in Memphis and she delivered an equally incredible performance. Adam Linstead – a personal favourite who I’ve admired since seeing him as Grantaire in Les Misérables a few years back – played the rather heavy Old Deuteronomy; it’s a shame, as I don’t think the depth of this character gave Adam the chance to really show off his skills – nevertheless, he played the role with the usual talent I was expecting from him; a pleasure to watch as always.
The mischievous Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer (played by Harry Francis and Georgie Leatherland, respectively) gave the perfect energy to their number – perhaps my favourite in the show. Paul F Monaghan offered a pleasing rendition of ‘Gus: The Theatre Cat’ – perfectly toned comedy. Mark John Richardson was an awesomely-talented Mr Mistoffelees – twirling with, what seemed like, never-ending pirouettes.
With controversy over the addition of a rapping Rum Tum Tugger (portrayed by Marcquelle Ward), I enjoyed judging this for myself. My verdict was that, it was not the rapping that bothered me, rather I didn’t feel Ward was right for the character – he seemed to struggle holding it altogether, missing opportunities of potential comedy. But he seemed to please the rest of the audience, so perhaps my lack of rap-knowledge made me ignorant to a well done job.
As I said, if you don’t like cats, then this is not the show for you. Saying that…if you can appreciate beautiful dance to a beautifully orchestrated score, then you would probably enjoy it. Just be warned: there are a lot of cats!
Review by Joseph Winer
Don’t miss the return of the critically acclaimed, 2015 Olivier award-nominated production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s CATS at the London Palladium for a strictly limited season until 2 January 2016, starring the Queen of British Soul, Beverley Knight, as Grizabella.
Following last year’s sell-out season in the West End, this new production of the “groundbreaking musical” is absolutely “perfect for the festive season” and truly gives CATS a new life for a new generation.
On just one special night of the year, all Jellicle cats meet at the Jellicle Ball where Old Deuteronomy, their wise and benevolent leader, makes the Jellicle choice and announces which of them will go up to The Heaviside Layer and be reborn into a whole new Jellicle life.
With “timeless music, spectacular sets and a superb cast”, breathtaking choreography and of course the unforgettable ‘Memory’, CATS is a magical musical like no other.
Let CATS thrill you once again, but don’t miss out on a seat – act fast and book your tickets today! “It’s the cat’s whiskers”.
Suitable for ages 5 years+
Show Opened: 26th October 2015
Booking Until: 2nd January 2016