Tuesday 6 September 2016


CATS was my first ever West End show, I remember vividly travelling to London with a group of my dance school friends as a child and being very excited by the whole experience, the lights, scenery, costumes and make up. I was around 10 and instantly fell in love with the show, it is up there with being one of my favourite childhood memories. Last night was my 8th time seeing it again, my first at the Regent Theatre Stoke though.

I got goosebumps walking into the theatre with the scenery of a backstreet alley littered with cereal boxes, crisp packets, tyres and a car boot and when the music started and the cats creep round the audience and onto the stage I was totally transfixed. 

The storyline is set on one special night of the year when all Jellicle cats meet at the Jellicle Ball and their wise leader, Old Deuteronomy makes a choice of who will go to the Heaviside layer and be reborn into a whole new Jellicle life. Along the way, each cat is introduced, showing their character and personality. The songs are taken from a book called 'Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats' by TS Eliot, I had a copy of this book as a child but mislaid it, gutted as I never managed to learn the songs!

Each and every cast member mimicked the cats so realistically, the costumes and make up was life-like too, I couldn't help but study it, especially being a facepainter. You could really believe they were real life cats. The dancing and singing was energetic and breathtaking, everything was so colourful you could not take your eyes away from the stage.

There was an update to the Rum Rum Tugger character, I remember he was a cheeky chappy but the street dance moves and rap was a welcome modern version. 

The white cat was captivating as usual and the Magical Mr Mistoffelees was worth the wait, I held my breath watching his turns and spins. The first time I saw it, he was played by Wayne Sleep and Shiv Rabheru who played him was as awesome. 

When Grizabella, played by Marianne Benedict belted out 'Memories' I was unable to stop the tears falling down my face, such a powerful and beautiful voice and it sent shivers down my spine. 

It will always be one of my favourite shows and to top it off, I even got stroked by a cat!

If you have tickets this week you will not be disappointed, watch out if you're sitting in the stalls!
You can see the show until Saturday 10th September, go to http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/cats-2/regent-theatre/