It’s just the Cat’s whiskers
CATS at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre is a remarkable revisiting of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s work.
Based on TS Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, and revived for “a new generation” at London’s Palladium, CATS has had the input of the original creatives from composer Webber, to director Trevor Nunn, choreographer Gillian Lynne, and designer John Napier.
Presented by Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, the CATS performed at the Lyric Theatre concluded with a standing ovation from the audience.
It is a real treat for those wandering down memory lane and to new visitors to the CATS world.
There’s a cracking cast – Delta Goodrem is powerful as Grizabella, the glamour cat, a rather more gritty looking callgirl version of the washed-up cat in massive high heels – how she moved around at all is a wonder.
Although Goodrem may appear too young for the role, her performance is well acted and nuanced, and highly emotive in her ultimate performance of Memory in the second act – she has a beautifully pure, non-operatic voice, that filled the theatre.
This reviewer’s memory of CATS in Dublin was that it was a bit long, with the music a bit repetitive, but this production seems to have tightened up all the lagging bits.
It’s a dynamic cast all round, with plenty of variety to the cats’ performances as they tell their tales from the delightful double act of pranksters Mungojerrie (Brent Osborne) and Rumpleteazer (Dominique Hamilton) with their playful acrobatics, to the newly invented rap vibe of the Rum Tum Tugger (Daniel Assetta), and the delicious jazz number that is Macavity.
Mr Mistoffeles (Christopher Favaloro) is a standout for his athleticism and 24 fouetes and the method for his disappearance at song’s end is very clever.
Gus (Josh Piterman), the theatre cat’s number is very enjoyable as is the Railway Cat’s ( Ross Hanniford), and the Jellicle Choir and choral work in general is very strong.
The show has a fantastic set, great costumes, the direction is slick and it is inspiring to see pure jazz choreography once more on stage.
CATS at the Lyric Theatre is a profound success and a must see for lovers of dance and musicals.
Jade Coutts as the white cat, Victoria, in the Brisbane production of Cats at QPAC. Below: Purr-fect companions in Cats and Delta Goodrem as Grizabella.