Liverpool Empire Theatre
November 26 – December 7
Composer: Andrew Lloyd Webber (From T S Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats)
Director: Trevor Nunn
Choreographer: Gillian Lynne
Producer: Cameron Mackintosh
Cast Includes: Oliver Saville, Sophia, Ragavelas, Nicholas Pound, Joseph Poulton, Barnaby Thompson, Katie Warsop, Paul F Monaghan, Cameron Ball.
Running Time: 2 hrs 40 mins
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s smash hit musical ‘CATS’ based on TS Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cat’s has swept into Liverpool and is captivating audiences at the Empire Theatre.
An elaborate light display and flashing cats eyes set the scene, looming over a set of fantastically proportioned props reveals an old scrap-yard where the cats have gathered to celebrate the annual Jellicle Ball.
With feline prowess, captured through slick and artistic dance moves, the cats introduce themselves and one by one, draw us into their world, personalities and point of view. There is a sense of eager anticipation as they wait to see who their leader Old Deuteronomy, (fantastically portrayed by Nicholas Pound) will choose to ascend to the Heaviside layer and be reborn.
The choreography is brilliantly worked and pulls at your heart strings as Grizabella, The Glamour Cat; (Sophie Ragavelas) gives an emotional performance as she attempts to return to the fold after years of self imposed exile. Rejected at every turn she soon realises how difficult this will be and is left with her rendition of Memory, to reflect on how things used to be. However, on a happier note, the song delivers on every level as later it is this song that sees her re-acceptance by the others as it is her that Old Deuteronomy, in is his infinite wisdom, picks to be elevated and to be reborn.
The playful Rum Tum Tugger (Oliver Saville) enjoys the attention of the other cats, especially the female ones and gives a master class on self gratification and confidence with his guile and unashamed flirtatious persona that had everyone enthralled and laughing out loud. Gus, The Theatre Cat (Paul Monaghan) gave much like Nicholas Pound’s presentation of Old Deuteronomy as the respected and revered elders portraying wisdom by the amassed knowledge of their many lives. A truly, magnificent show that thrills and excites from start to finish embellished by fantastic props, dance routines and enchanting acting which makes this a must see production, purrfectly (sorry, I couldn’t resist) directed by Trevor Nunn.
Note from Chris: This is Alanís debut review, not only for this site, but of reviewing a big show. Hopefully, it wonít be his last.