Guest Post: Cats the Musical is back!

Theatre Breaks

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Here at SuperBreak, we’re more than excited to hear Cats the Musical will be making a come back to the West End this December! Our theatre guru, David is here to tell us why this return to the London stage is not to be missed…


There’s a man over there, with a look of surprise, as much as to say: “Well now, how about that… do I actually see, with my own very eyes, a man who’s not heard of a Jellicle Cat?”

Yesterday we met at the world famous London Palladium for the launch of Cats which previews on the 6th of December for a twelve week run. There were many questions for shows creative team, who had joined us on the stage – Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, Sir Trevor Nun and Dame Gillian Lynne – but no-one asked: “What’s a Jellicle Cat?”

“Jellicle” is actually a term T. S Eliot made up to sound like the affected upper class English when they said “Dear little cat,” with “Pollicle” being the equivalent for “Poor little dog.” – but nobody needs to know that to enjoy Cats. Audiences are simply transported by means of the imaginations of the show’s creators and the energy of the performers. The fourth member of the creative team, John Napier, was not present at the launch but his wasteland vision (another reference to T.S Eliot), and the costumes which characterize the cats and kittens, mean that Cats is still probably the most modern looking musical you will see this year – even though the show first opened in London in 1981. (You can see John’s signature on the car boot where the registration plate is always “NAP” followed by the number of that production)


We had a lot of fun at Cats in 1981. We were the biggest hit in the world and EVERYONE who was anyone had to make their way to the New London (Liz Taylor, Dustin Hoffman, Paul Newman). I was allowed five pounds to buy flowers from Covent Garden Market if we were entertaining royalty – as long as I arranged them myself – and thirty three years later I can confess that it was me that made up the story that Paul Newman had queued up for returns for the show (as reported in several newspapers the next day).


The party ran for twenty-one years. And now, fourteen years after it closed at the New London, the talk is of up-dating the show, of making a “new edition” of Cats for The Palladium (I wonder how Macavity would cope with CCTV and CSI?), but rest assured that it will still be the show of your memories. The show that baptized more children into the world of Musical Theatre (and theatre generally) than any other previous show. The show that said to the world, for the first time, that we Brits could conceive, create and commercially operate Musical Theatre on a scale not only on a par with Broadway, but far beyond. And I promise you, when that slinky feline figure suddenly materializes beside your seat, and holds you in their other-worldly eyes… it will be like Cats has never been away.

Will you be booking a theatre break to see Cats this winter? Let us know by using the comments box below.

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