|Date||26th October 2017|
|Venue||Upton Upon Severn Memorial Hall|
|Type of Production||Musical|
|Musical Director||Kendra Yates|
Author: Bruce Wyatt
Based on T.S. Elliot’s ‘Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats’, we look into the lives of certain cats. The Jellicles, as they call themselves, gather to make the ‘Jellical choice’ as to who will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and be reborn. Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber is well known and the ‘volunteer’ orchestra of 9 players led by Musical Director Kendra Yates, captured the magic of the piece and never over-powered the cast.
The cast were predominately youngsters with three adults in support. It is difficult to highlight individual performances as the whole company from front to back row, were ‘in the moment’. Despite the limited space, the choreography was fluid and well rehearsed. What space there was, was very well used and the set, backed by good lighting and sound added to the atmosphere. The ‘in house’ costumes and make-up were first class.
‘The Invitation to the Jellicle Ball’ set the tone led by ‘Victoria’ (Victoria Sloan-Kirton), ‘Mistoffelees’ (Jesse Coyle) and ‘Munkustrap’ (Marcus Delorenzo) and the latter displayed further rich tones and clear diction in several of the following numbers. J’Dunn Gormley as ‘Rum Tum Tugger’ gave us a great hip swivelling number of the same name! ‘Mungojerrie’ and ‘Rumpleteazer‘ played by Chloe Yates and Maddy Meredith respectively, added to the highlights of the first act in fine voice and dance. It was good to see ‘The Awful Battle of the Pekes and the Pollicles ’ had not been excluded in this production.
‘Gus’ the theatre cat provided a moving performance by John Hubbard (maybe I can relate!) backed superbly by Charlotte Jepson as ‘Jellyorum’ and Dylan Mulholland as ‘Skimbleshanks’ the railway cat, gave a clear and impressive performance too.
Good support was also provided by Penny Sant as ‘Grizzabella’, with Faith Barlow as ‘Jemima’ making a splendid addition to the well known number ‘Memory’ and Steve Croft providing further depth as ‘Old Deuteronomy / Bustopher Jones’.
Chloe Yates direction and choreography was impressive and all involved with this production on and off stage can be rightly proud of the result. Thank you for the invitation and I look forward to ‘Puss in Boots’ next February!