Brought to you by Nuffnang and Cats The Musical
Keen to catch a Broadway show next time you’re in New York? How about a West End production in London? It’s one of those bucket list type experiences isn’t it? However I suggest you reconsider. Get some West End glamour without stepping on a plane. Don’t wait til you go overseas to have a night (or day) at the theatre. We have the very best of the best right here at home.
Legendary musical Cats has just opened in Sydney and has an extensive Australian tour planned (Hobart, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth). Miss 8 and I were very excited to see it this week and I was thrilled that it was that perfect theatre experience that you hope for, where you are in a gorgeous historic theatre, a part of an entranced audience, completely focused on an incredible show. How lucky we are to have a glorious theatre scene here at home with spectacular talent and an audience who appreciates them.
Cats is a phenomenon really. It is based on a series of poems by T.S. Eliot that prolific composer Andrew Lloyd Webber set to music. It is a whimsical, joyous escape from reality getting to know a tribe of cats called the Jellicle Cats. Lloyd Webber had to mortgage his house to raise the money to produce it originally, but once it opened on the West End in 1981 and people saw how incredible it was, they came in droves and it broke all records to run for over 20 years.
Cats is the musical to see to appreciate fabulous dancing, so, as a keen dancer in my teens, I went with my mum in 1985 in Melbourne. What a thrill! Back then it was the wonderful Debbie Byrne as Grizabella, the Glamour cat, who brought goosebump-inducing song Memory to life.
This production has been reworked by the original creative team and had a triumphant season in London’s West End with excellent reviews, an extended season due to overwhelming demand, and a 2015 Olivier award nomination. A whole new generation is now discovering its beauty.
For me the highlight is Delta Goodrem singing Memory in the second act. As Grizabella she has been rejected by her tribe and yearns for acceptance. It has been a long time since I’ve listened to the soundtrack (I have it on cassette tape!), but when she pours her heart into these words, they cut straight to your soul –
It’s so easy to leave me
All alone with the memory
Of my days in the sun
If you touch me
You’ll understand what happiness is
Look, a new day has begun”
So full of pain and hope.
The joy of Cats is the depth of talent it showcases. This young ensemble are top quality dancers truly embodying the spirit of cats. But they are not only dancers, they sing too! There is virtually no spoken dialogue.
This is no second class show in the colonies, this is the best of the best. Celebrate these spectacular performers and be drawn into the performance as the Jellicle Cats roam the theatre and perhaps perform right next to you!
With no scary bits or inappropriate themes, Cats is a wonderful musical to introduce the kids to theatre. Combine it with a stay at a city hotel or catch a matinee. It’s all here on our very doorstep. Embrace it.
Tickets now on sale here.
Have you seen Cats?
Which other ’80s mega-musical would you like to see revived? My vote is for roller-skating rock musical Starlight Express. That was so cool!