AFTER returning from Sheffield Lyceum’s performance of Cats on Saturday night, I read the Advertisers review with dismay. “What’s it all about” it was headed. Such a shame the reporter didn’t read the programme. All her questions would have been answered. As for the question, how did it become a record breaking Olivier award nominated musical? It deserved to! Gillian Lynne choreography, direction Trevor Nunn, music by Lloyd Webber. The older dancers in my group loved it and so did my daughters and their friends. So that means it’s aimed at anybody who loves dance and music, answering the reporter’s last question. Maybe the reporter should have stayed at home and let her musical loving friend do her job last Tuesday.
So, yes they are all dressed as cats, but they were brilliant cats, all with their own personalities. Was Rum Tum Tugger typecast with his MC Hammer- style trousers and medallions? All I know was that this black guy was multi-talented. How many white guys can swop from break dance to ballet with ease and be able to sing? As for the costume, it needs to be visual to hit the back row of the top circle.
Don’t be put off by the reference to the production being very “stage school”. This production calls for performers with excellent training and exceptional talent. No Sylvia Young graduates were listed in the programme, although what’s the matter with Sylvia Young and Stage Schools? Did Sylvia Young really need Lloyd Webber to write musicals for her graduate students to get work? Have you checked out the long list of talented people who studied there? Amy Winehouse, Billie Piper, Rita Ora, Denise Van Outen, Tom Fletcher to name a few.
I thought the show was fabulous and wished I had made the effort to see it before when it first originated in the West End in 1981 and ran for 21years. Timeless music, spectacular sets and a new superb cast has taken on a new lease of life for a new generation. If you like musicals and enjoy dance then this show is for you. It’s on until October 1h in Sheffield and then going on to Milton Keynes. It’s well worth seeing.
Janet Mitchell, Janet Mitchell School of Dance at the Brecks