Talented team produce memorable performance in reinvented classic

Dunedin had one show in the 2019 Aotearoa Tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 'Cats'. PHOTO: WIKIPEDIA
Dunedin had one show in the 2019 Aotearoa Tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 'Cats'. PHOTO: WIKIPEDIA
The Regent Theatre was overrun with feral felines for Dunedin's only show in the 2019 Aotearoa Tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats.

Based on TS Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, Cats was first staged in 1981 and ever since has been a hit with audiences the world over.

With Geraldine Brophy at the helm, this reimagined production finds us in the dilapidated ruins of a theatre post-earthquake, from the creative mind of Chris Reddington.

The cast is made up of professional actors, dancers and singers from across New Zealand and Australia, including two Dunedinites, Sophie Morris and Rose Pickard.

Combine the dynamic cast with the multi-talented production teamand this was a hugely entertaining and memorable performance. There was a slight hiccup, Griddlebone's microphone at one stage was not turned on, but all was easily forgiven as the cast played, jumped and pranced about the stage.

I love the fact that this enduring musical is essentially devoid of any real storyline. Instead it is made up of the various poems celebrating different cats. Greg Jarema's Rum Tum Tugger was full of charisma gyrating and teasing the audience, and Mr Mistophelees (Joel Houwen) was a delightful performer and brought the much-needed dance element to the performance. With some members of the cast not having dance backgrounds, some of the choreography was a little simple. That said, the entire cast did a magnificent job and the more technical dance pieces were executed beautifully - Jane Strickland, who played Griddlebone, was also a standout.

However, Eilish Moran as Grisabella, was the star of the show. Her solo of Memory was haunting and emotive I'm still singing along with her in my head!

-By Penny Neilson

Cats 

Regent Theatre
Wednesday,  April 17

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