|Date||27th September 2021|
|Type of Production||Musical|
|Musical Director||Cassandra Pattison|
Author: Tessa Davies
This production has been a long time in rehearsal, with breaks for lockdown, being forced to hold rehearsals with no more than 6 people, social distance restrictions, frequent times with cast members having to isolate and all sorts of trials and tribulations. Stamford Showstoppers have showed great ingenuity in getting this show into the theatre at all, it’s a wonder that they persevered. But they did, and the opening performance that I saw was a triumph.
Every single performer, from the youngest kitten to the more mature members of the cast, gave everything they had to perform for us, and the audience showed their appreciation.
The stage was a simple standing set and Director, Nicola Sandall, made the most of the different levels and hiding places. The costumes were also very creative, I loved that it was not all just leotards; the cast were clearly given a brief to create their costume according to their character and this was a very successful way to do it.
This show is quite different from a traditional on-stage musical, telling the story through T S Elliot’s poems. We saw the joyous Jellicle Cats that opens the show, followed by a The Naming of the Cats. Both songs set the scene for the rest of the show, and we were able to follow the cats as they introduced themselves to the audience. The singing was terrific, MD Cassandra Pattison has done an excellent job in getting the singing to such a high standard. With both Director and MD performing in the show, it is clear that this was a labour of love for both of them.
It would be most unfair of me to single out any one performer, every soloist sang well, and the dancing was excellent, well drilled and very ‘together’. Of necessity, some performers played different parts during the show, but their costume changes made it very clear which character they were playing, and their characterisation was excellent.
I would have liked to mention individual performances but there were so many good ones I would end up mentioning almost everyone in the cast and this report would run for several pages! I also must say that there was not an ‘average’ performance in the whole show, everyone was going all out to perform at a very high level, and it was an emotional roller coaster to watch each one.
The kittens were an absolute delight to watch, and they were very ‘performance conscious’ a difficult thing for ones so young and a great indication of things to come.
I was so pleased that I was able to come and see this production and I would like to thank Stamford Showstoppers for the hospitality shown to me. I hope to be back again!