|Date||19th September 2014|
|Society||Inspirations Theatre Co|
|Venue||Mansfield Palace Theatre|
|Type of Production||Musical|
|Musical Director||Melanie Gilbert|
Author: Joyce Handbury
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats is based on T.S.Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats telling the story of the Jellicle Cats who reunite once a year with their leader, Old Deuteronomy, who will choose which of the Jellicle Cats will journey to the Heaviside layer to be reborn into a new life. The set depicted an old rubbish dump and during the overture the cats assembled there creeping and crawling from all over the auditorium. The opening number, Jellicle Cats, gave us a flavour of what was to come - it was stunning and the Naming of the Cats (a spoken chorus) was delivered by the ensemble with perfect timing and enunciation. Everyone in the cast was fantastic from the small ‘kittens’, the ensemble cats to those with a lead role - all their singing and dancing was truly awesome. All the dance numbers whether tap, jazz, ballet or acrobatics were brilliantly choreographed and delivered with such dynamic energy and atheticism they were breathtaking. I cannot possible mention all the outstanding individual performances it would just be a list of named characters with differing superlatives but I will just name a few of my personal highlights. I loved Evan Mason as Mungojerry and Sophie Baddeley as Rumpleteaser and Ruby Payne and Francesca Fleming as Macavity’s henchmen were outstanding. Niall Hopkinson gave a moving portrayal as Gus, Dominic Stevenson’s hips were on overdrive as Rum Tum Tugger and James Morgan as Mistofolees gave a phenomenal display of gymnastic dancing. The shows best known number, Memory, was powerfully, emotively and brilliantly sung by Natalie Hollingworth as Grizabella what a show-stealing performance. The costumes and make-up were amazing, the atmospheric lighting plot together with a great band all added to make this a terrific show. However, most of the accolades must go to the exceptional array of talent that was on the stage and to the directors and choreograher for putting on such a magnificently impressive and professional production.