Review: CATS, Opera House, Manchester

Review: CATS, Manchester Opera House

Review: CATS, Manchester Opera House

First published in What's on in East Lancashire
Last updated
Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by

THE theatre was packed to its full capacity and the audience were buzzing to see Andrew Lloyd-Webber's smash-hit musical Cats on tour in Manchester.

With an astounding set (the giant cooker being my favourite prop) Cats is a musical like no other.

The story of Cats is adapted from TS Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, and there’s a blend of fantasy, drama and romance on the night that the Jellicle Cats meet for the Jellicle Ball in a sparkling fusion of music.

The show itself is older than me, and with a script that has never been changed since opened in The West End in 1981 I felt like we were back in the eighties in a bizarre way.

Growing up in that era made me appreciate the performance even more, it was a time where adults prancing around in lycra was the norm (think Mr Motivator) – and nothing’s changed here.

In its own right Catsis a timeless classic, enjoyable but the pace seemed slower than what I expected but the song that everybody knows Memory – Cats lovers or not, it was delivered beautifully.

Grizabella, played by Joanna Ampil, sang the pitch-purrfect song, that has been recorded by over 150 different artists, including Barry Manilow and Barbra Streisand.

Captivating the audience was her aim and Grizabella delivered.

One for the boys; is the lively Alonzo, known for flirting with the kittens and queen cats; he acts cocky and arrogant around the males.

Played by James Darch with his crawling, spinning and cartwheeling, you just can’t help but love him. Mentioning just a couple of cats seems unfair becase the full cast all have their own personality.

Their stunning costumes compliment the choreography in every way, leaving the majority of the audience really do believe the actors are Cats!

It’s a great family show that has been a hit around the world and has been translated into ten languages so far.

If you can, take your litter to see the production in Manchester, a performance that they will never forget.

  • CATS, Manchester Opera House from 2 - 16 April 2012. Box Office: 0844 871 3018

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