Tuesday 20th February

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CATS at New Wimbledon Theatre

| Uncategorized | 28/05/2014

Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats
Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats has been in theatres all over the world since its New London Theatre debut in 1981. For over thirty years, the musical has performed to thousands of audiences of all ages, returning for a UK National Tour this year. The story tells of a group of Jellicle Cats, felines who meet once a year to select one of their tribe to be reborn. The chosen cat will come back to a different life before the sun rises. Throughout the musical, the cats introduce themselves and each tell their own story.

Honestly, I had no idea what to expect from Cats. It was the first musical I had been to where I had no idea of the plot whatsoever. As the lights lowered and several actors began crawling down the aisles and hopping onto the stage in fabulous costumes and eccentric makeup, I knew I was in for a surprise. The opening number prepared me for just how much there was to take in, with over twenty actors on the stage at one time, surrounded by a great stage set.

Joseph Poulton expresses a cheeky side to magical cat Mr Mistoffelees, with graceful choreography and a winning voice to match. Filippo Strocchi somehow made a cat extremely attractive in his portrayal of Rum Tum Tugger, the flirtatious feline whom all the female cats fawn over throughout. Also, Benjamin Yates and Dawn Williams bring some light-hearted comedy to the show with Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer, their routine to their story telling song was incredible.

Although the entire cast were strong, the star of the show was without a doubt Joanna Ampil. Her performance of ‘Memory’ portrayed such raw emotional talent, the strength of the vocals were astonishing. Costume-wise, she really did look like a cat who had been expelled from the group, pacing the stage looking horrified with herself. As a viewer, I found myself feeling sorry for her throughout.

The build up of mysterious cat Macavity was well staged, although it made his impending entrance far more exciting than it actually turned out to be. Having said this, the cast used the theatre space well, weaving in and out of the aisles, appearing through doors around the audience, etc.

I thoroughly enjoyed this production of Cats, so much so that I came out of the theatre wondering why I had not watched it earlier. It’s easy to see why this is the second longest running musical, it has such a unique story and is approachable by all ages. I urge those who have not seen it to go, and I’m sure those who have need no encouragement, this production is incredible and one not to be missed.

Cats is currently on a UK National Tour. Tickets can be found here;

http://www.catsthemusical.com/tickets/2013-ukeurope-tour/

 

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