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Posts Tagged ‘Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats’

I’m really a dog person, but CATS the musical brings back fond memories of the time I first watched CATS with my mum in 1993 when Singapore’s own Jacinta Abisheganaden took the role of Grizabella. So it was really special to be able to bring Asher to watch CATS this time around. I wonder if he’ll remember it when he grows up.

CATS is quite accessible for young audiences as the story is simple. Based on the book of poems “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” (1939) by T.S. Eliot, CATS tells the imaginative tale of a tribe of Jellicle Cats as they gather together for the annual Jellicle Ball, and one by one tell their stories for the amusement of Old Deuteronomy, who must choose one of the Cats to journey to the Heaviside Layer to be reborn into a new life.

Old Deuteronomy and the Jelicle Cats

Old Deuteronomy and the Jelicle Cats

If you want to introduce your kid to Andrew Lloyd Webber and his musicals, CATS is a good way to start. Afterall, it holds the record for one of the longest-running musicals in West End history, playing for 21 years.

Asher especially liked the story of Gus the Theatre Cat (played by Richard Woodford) and his reenactment of the time he acted as Growltiger. Asher loved the battle scene and how Gus was made to walk the plank. I liked Gus’ story too and thought it was one of the more poignant ones. Jellylorum (played by Angela Kilian) also did a great job presenting his story, and it was one of the clearest presentations in the show.

Gus and Jellylorum

Gus and Jellylorum

For his favourite cat, Asher chose Mr. Mistoffelees. With a catchy song, impressive dance moves, and *magic*, it’s easy to see why Mr. Mistoffelees appealed to him.

Magical Mr Mistoffelees

Magical Mr Mistoffelees

The other bunch of cats I really liked were Mungojerrie and Rumpleteaser. What a funny story they had! Such cheery, playful, happy-go-lucky cats. I can just imagine their family getting so exasperated with them, but finding them lovable all the same. Here’s an interesting little nugget of information about Dominique Hamilton who played Rumpleteaser. Her mother played the same character 29 years ago!

Mungojerrie and Rumpleteaser

Mungojerrie and Rumpleteaser

To me CATS is more about the singing. Individually they have strong and unique voices, and I really loved how beautifully their voices blended when the cast sang as a company. The ‘formal choral’ bit in Jelicle Songs for Jelicle Cats was very impressive. The musical shows it’s 80s influence very strongly, from the music to the leg warmers. But knowing the context of the musical – how it’s based on a book and first produced in the 80s – helps you appreciate the musical more. There are some slow bits, particularly in the first act, but there is much more dynamism in the second half. It was also great how the cast interacted with the audience at many points throughout the show, making the show more intimate.

Beautiful singing

Beautiful singing

Bustopher Jones

Bustopher Jones

Jennyanydots the Old Gumbie Cat

Jennyanydots the Old Gumbie Cat

Grizabella the Glamour Cat

Grizabella the Glamour Cat

Rum Tum Tugger!

The very flamboyant Rum Tum Tugger!

Skimbleshanks The Railway Cat

Skimbleshanks The Railway Cat

Overall, it was a lovely way to spend the evening, and Asher still says a few days later how much he liked watching CATS. I left singing Mr Mistoffelees’ song all the way home!

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CATS is produced in Singapore by Lunchbox Theatrical Productions and Base Entertainment Asia in association with The Really Useful Group.

CATS is showing at the MasterCard Theatres, Marina Bay Sands until 1 Feb 2015. There aren’t many days left, so hurry to book your tickets. Tickets are available via the SISTIC website or SISTIC hotline (+65 6688 8826).

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All photos courtesy of BASE Entertainment.

We received complimentary tickets for the show. All opinions are my own.

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