Performed at the Cramphorn Theatre, April 20, 2015
Director – Sallie Warrington, Musical Director Bryan Cass
This production was a marvelous ensemble piece in the widest sense of the word ensemble. By this I mean to include the team that designed and built the set; the team that designed and painted the costumes, the incredible wigs; the hugely talented cast and the director/choreographer and MD. Every element of this production was an essential component of the whole, without which it may not have worked. As it was it was magnificent. CATS is an unusual piece, combining dance and music in so integrated a fashion. Without much dialogue or much of a plot it could so easily fail to engage an audience and yet this production was entrancing throughout. It was much better than when I first saw it in the West End. In the Cramphorn the proximity of everything creates an intimacy that works so well when the cast is so alive. Every facial expression, every feline twitch and stroke could be seen and enjoyed. The real beauty of this production was that there were no passengers; every cat had his or own character and story to tell and this came through strongly. This is great stagecraft training for future conventional musicals. Wherever I looked there was activity and interest without any upstaging of the cat in the spotlight at the time. Consequently I will break with tradition and not pick out individual characters for praise. Everyone was equally good and I hope that the Young gen cast will accept that in the complimentary spirit in which it is meant. I loved the fluidity of the choreography, the use of multiple entrances and exits, the use of the kittens, the harmony in the ensemble singing. The boys were heard despite being outnumbered somewhat. This was a really great production and definitely one for the scrapbook. Congratulations.
Reviewer- Stewart Adkins
Regional representative, District 8