Friday, 25 October 2013

The Memory Lives On : Cats 2013 UK Tour

So, last night I was walking through a rather drizzly dull Bristol city centre with my Mum in a sparkly black dress. We were already full of food from Wagamamas and as we passed faceless commuters rushing to catch their bus home we were on our way to the Bristol Hippodrome. Why? To fulfil a 16 year old dream I've had, to see the musical Cats live on stage! 

Selfie before we left. 
Walking through those miserable, cold streets I felt like a firework I haven't felt such intense excitement in a long time I felt like I was going to explode into bright colours, or something equally dramatic

I should probably start with the beginning of this story, the time I was first introduced to the effulgent poems from T S Eliot's 'Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats'. I was in primary school and my teacher at the time (who happened to be an old theatre actor himself) read some of the poems in english class. I was in awe and immediately went to the town library to get the book out to read myself. In the end I think it turned into the book I rented from the library the most, every few months I got it again. It was the same year that my teacher invited me to join the theatre company he ran with his wife. I ended up spending alot of my youth in that company, 'Break-A-Leg' joining both the acting and dance classes for years. This was my first exposure to Cats the Musical. We preformed 'Macavity' as part of a Cabaret performance when I was 7 and that was when my Mum bought the film version on VHS, as it happened to also come out that year. 

Was it Mungojerrie? Or Rumplteazer?
I was entranced. Ever since that day I vowed to see Cats live one day no matter what. With the same theatre group I went on to dance and sing in various Cats acts, though sadly never the whole musical. My love was sealed.

Magical Mr Mistoffelees!
A few months ago I was casually browsing our local theatre, the Bristol Hippodrome, for performances (I went to see the comedian, Bill Bailey, for the second time in September) and there were those iconic yellow cat eyes staring back at me. I looked at performance dates and immediately ran downstairs to my Mum to ask if she wanted to go as part of her 50th birthday presents from me. I actually squealed one the booking was confirmed and ever since I've had excitement building, I've read my copy of OPBoPC so many times I almost know it word from word! And last night, was the night!

Outfit I wore. Forest Green Blazer, Sparkly Black cut Out Dress and Floral Tights.
I could hardly sit still as we took our seats (great seats in the Grand Circle) and viewing the junkyard set I was practically buzzing! The lights dimmed and the music began to swell and I could feel tears pricking, here I finally was 16 years later fulfilling the dream of a theatre lover. 

View from our seats!
The performance itself was flawless, in all honesty I'm still in awe of the dedication of the cast and crew to bringing the world of the Jellicle Cats to life. The singing and dance routines were flawless and I loved the little quirks of personality the actors have brought to the characters. I know the songs so well I was miming along with the cast totally enthralled. 

Grisabella The Glamour Cat.
I don't think a smile left my face the whole time. I can't even pick out a standout performance, everyone was so perfectly cast and really gave their performance, no matter how small all their dedication. The special effects were in time and spot on, the live orchestra gave the music flair and made the performance even more magical. I feel like I'm running out of adjectives to really describe my experience but it was unreal. I've been to many fantastic theatre productions before but this one meant so much to be I don't think I could fault it if I tried! I extend all my thanks and admiration for all the cast and crew who have worked to make this tour as special as it has been. Thankyou for fulfilling my dream and going beyond all my expectations; I'm still spellbound!

Demeter, Bombalurina and Jennylorum.
Cats is a show that has it all; memorable musical hits, beautiful ballet and gymnastic inspired dance routines, feline acting and pizazz! Faithful to the original poetry Andrew Lloyd Webber's classic score leaves you feeling breathless and wanting more; wanting to explore this mysterious world of the cats further. This is a show that I recommend to anyone, even people who do not enjoy the theatre because you will love this show. I'm hoping they do another UK tour in a few years so I can take my niece as she would be equally enthralled as I was as a young child.


Remaining tickets for this UK/Europe tour can be found here.
Images bar my own are all from the current UK/Europe Tour and found on the official Cat's website found here.


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