Cats is making a triumphant return to the Congress Theatre, Eastbourne, after a two-year break – and a sell-out run at the London Palladium.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s record breaking adaptation of TS Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats provides dazzling costumes and musical magic, topped by iconic hit Memories.
Marianne Benedict, as the victimized, ageing Grizabella, gives a purr-fect emotionally charged, sensitive rendition of the show-stopper.
Another familiar favourite is Mr Mistoffelees, and there’s captivating dance routines plus amazing acrobatic manoeuvres.
Admittedly, not all of Lloyd Webber’s score is memorable and the plot is thin, but the show still has so much to offer 35 years after its première.
Musical director Tim Davies dovetails superbly with Gillian Lynne’s sparkling choreography and Trevor Nunn’s lively direction, aided by vital input from Chrissie Cartwright.
Once again the Congress stage is turned into a junk yard in which cats congregate for the Jellicle Ball where their leader Old Deuteronomy (Kevin Stephen-Jones) announces which of them will be reborn into a whole new Jellicle life.
The cast, who often mingle with the audience, is very strong and shows endless energy, but Marcquelle Ward, as a rapping Rum Tum Tugger, is deserving of special mention. By Heather Flood.
Performances of Cats continue until Saturday August 27 - call 01323 412000 or book on www.eastbournetheatres.co.uk