What IS a Jellicle cat? Does anyone actually know? Well as the song goes, Jellicle cats are black and white, Jellicle cats are rather small, and so on so forth. Still don’t know what a Jellicle cat is? Then maybe you need to put your life on paws and consider seeing this claw-some musical.
When Cats was first opened at the New London Theatre in 1981, it boomed! And after closing on its 21st birthday in 2002, nobody thought it would come back. But surprise! Cats did come back in 2014 and here we are today, enjoying the fantastical, lyrical genius of one of the most beloved musicals known to theatre geeks everywhere.
Last night I had the absolute pleasure of attending the Regent Theatre to see the opening night of Cats. From where I sat I had a fantastic view of the stage and the stunning set that had been designed. The set paid homage to the originals, especially the 1998 movie of Cats, and was beautifully made. And those costumes? Amazing. Each costume had it’s own personality, and each actor really did settle into their cat-sona with ease. It was a pleasure to watch them performing.
Alongside the amazing set were some incredible lighting displays. There were lights hung across the ceiling that lit up spectacularly, a very nice touch to the show that added to an almost immersive experience.
The performance was so similar to the movie that a lot of people grew up with that some die-hard fans described it as fantastic. Aside from a few minor changes, such as the incredible rapping by Marcquelle Ward as Rum Tum Tugger, the performance really did hold true to the originals.
As a first time goer to Cats, I was blown away by some powerful voices. Most notably was Marianne Benedict and her stunning portrayal of Grizabella. She threw so much passion and heart into her role that I very nearly wanted to dive on stage and give her a hug! Fortunately enough it was her voice that had me stuck to my seat, unable to move simply due to the shock of how astounding her rendition of Memory was.
At the interval the show just didn’t stop! When the actors took their well-deserved catnap, we were greeted with Old Deuteronomy who began signing playbooks and meeting the younger audience members. He was like a big jolly Santa! The Cater Claws!
My favourite cat I hear you yowl? Well it had to be Matt Krzan’s rendition of Munkustrap, and his fantastic fight scene between Macavity played by Javier Cid.
The show was so good it received a standing ovation that continued, as the actors skittered off into the crowd to disappear backstage, just like the cat burglars Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer!
Cats is still in the theatre until the 10th September so hurry up and get your paws on some tickets while you still can!
Tickets are available from The Regent Theatre Box Office, by calling 0844 871 7649 or visiting www.atgtickets.com/stoke