Last night, the musical Cats arrived at the Birmingham Hippodrome for one-week only, fresh off its successful sell-out run at the London Palladium. Undoubtedly one of the world’s most successful musicals, I couldn’t wait to get to finally watch the iconic show that has had many stars in its leading roles: everyone from John Partridge to Nicole Scherzinger have treaded the boards as part of a Cats production over the years.
There’s not much of a storyline to the musical- based on TS Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. Yet there doesn’t need to be. Instead it is a stunning arrangement of vocals, dance, movement and comedy. Any fears that the show can’t compete with the array of new musicals on the scene is unfounded; there’s plenty of modern touches to wow audiences: with Marcquelle Ward’s Rum Tum Tugger reimagined as a street dancing cat with plenty of bling and Shiv Rabheru’s Mistoffelees, the conjuring cat, offering a magical spectacle alongside a stunning ballet performance.
As we had aisle seats, it was a truly immersive experience from start to finish: cats jumped and sashayed their way down the aisles (unfortunately the strict no photography rules prevented me from getting what I’m sure would have been, an epic selfie) the live orchestra filled the theatre with music and there was an array of light and sound effects to add to the action. The second act in particular is action packed: jumping from the dramatic entrance of evil Macavity to the breathtaking poignancy of Grizabella’s Memories solo. The cast finished their performance to a strong standing ovation and an audience of complete Cats converts .
The fact that this show is in Birmingham for a one week run demonstrated it’s popularity and how this is a must-see before it departs the Midlands and tours the rest of the UK and beyond. It is definitely a show that should not be missed.
Cats is at the Birmingham Hippodrome until Sat 4th June. For more information and to book tickets visit www.birminghamhippodrome.com