Review: Cats @ Wimbledon Theatre

Any musical of Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s is bound to be an all-singing, all-dancing evening of childhood nostalgia.

Cats is an adaptation of TS Eliot’s ‘Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats’, and just like felines themselves, you either love it or hate it.

The story gives the audience a glimpse into the suspicious and reluctant world of the Jellicle Cats.

The tribe reunites one night every year for the Jellicle Ball to take part in a special naming ceremony, celebrating who they are and singing about their unique and special traits.

cats 1The mystical cats wait for their leader, the wise Old Deuteronomy, who will choose which one of the Jellicles will journey to the Heaviside Layer to be reborn. Apart from Glamour Cat Grizabella, a former Jellicle. She is shunned by the rest of the feline clowder for leaving the tribe to explore the outside world and now wants to return, spending her entire performance sobbing and desperately reaching for sympathy. Besides the crying, she is definitely the cat with the best purr in her solo vocal ‘Memories’.

Macavity, the villainous cat, interrupts the show by scaring away all the Jellicles who fear his phantom-like nature. His two henchmen kidnap Old Deuteronomy, which breaks out into a girly cat-fight between him and macho Munkustrap, a grey tabby who protects the tribe.

Other than the cats singing and dancing about themselves and their virtues, it is a spectacular performance that is both sassy and sublime.

Throughout the show the cats come out into the audience to scuffle the hair of the unlucky few, so if you’re not keen, try and grab a seat in the middle.

The storyline uses the original poems with no script which is puzzling but easily forgiven through impressive vocal and dance sequences.

The choreography is skillfully pulled together and the magnificent performance proves that the much-loved musical still lives on.

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