It sometimes takes a while for me to get around to catching up with the rest of the world. CATS first opened in the West End in 1981 and then on Broadway in 1982. Almost thirty years later I finally got around to seeing a production of the musical for the first time.
CATS is now showing at the Burswood Theatre in Perth.
Composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, CATS is based on Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot and has won many awards, including both the Laurence Olivier Award and the Tony Award for Best Musical. The London production ran for twenty one years and the Broadway production ran for eighteen years, both setting long-run records. CATS has been performed around the world and has been translated into more than 20 languages.
I didn’t really know what to expect when Pauline and I turned up at Burswood last Tuesday for the opening night performance. I picked up our tickets at the box office and we were ushered to our third row seats. We were seated several minutes early which gave us time to appreciate the amazing set. In case you’re one of the few other people in the world who haven’t seen CATS I don’t think I’d be giving much away to tell you that the show is set in a massive rubbish tip. The designers have done an incredible job in creating a visually stunning backdrop for the show.
Once the show got underway we were captivated. CATS is incredibly physical and the performers combined extremely energetic dancing with challenging vocals and perfect timing.
I thought that as the night went on I might recognise a few of the songs, but in the end, it was only the wonderful Memory that I recognised. Mind you, that wasn’t really a problem. While some songs were more enjoyable than others, most generated an instant connection.
I don’t have the voice to sing the songs the cast sang. I don’t have the moves to dance like the cast can dance. I certainly don’t have the body to be able to wear the skin tight outfits worn by the cast. Thankfully the performers had it all.
While I considered that some scenes were a little over sensuous, the show overall is magnificent. If you get the opportunity, get out and see CATS so you can create a memory or two of your own.
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