Cats is a solid testament to the theory that felines have nine lives as the musical has entertained more than 73 million people worldwide in 300 countries. After a successful season in London’s West End, the highly acclaimed revival of Cats has just rolled into Adelaide at the Festival Centre, showing from March through to April.
After attending the opening night of Cats one Sunday evening I am not surprised that it continues to maintain its popularity and live on well past its ‘nine lives’. This world-class musical has it all; song, dance, comedy, drama, an incredible live orchestra and an impeccable lighting show.
The musical tells the age-old tale of the Jellicle Cats meeting in the junkyard for the Jellicle Ball to make the Jellicle Choice. Each cat has an avid and unique personality, with most characters getting their own elaborate song to introduce their name and defining characteristics. These range from characters like the cheeky pair Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer, the ancient and wise Old Deuteronomy, the lonely Grizabella the Glamour Cat and the fickle but charming Rum Tum Tugger.
The cast cohesion was what really shined through as one of the core ingredients in the purrr-fect show. The choir aspects and dancing were both executed flawlessly and with perfect unison. Pair the cast consistency with live music that never seemed to waver, and you have one fantastically executed musical.
Each furry cast member had their own personality and maintained their character throughout every single second of the musical. The set design was also an absolute masterpiece, with little nooks and crannies that cats would appear from and disappear into. Oh, and not to mention there was even a moment with a member of the cast on a trapeze! How much more impressive could the production get?
The feline and mighty fine cast commanded and anchored the audience’s attention for every second of the show, but there were still a few moments that stood out from the rest and were truly memorable. Ironically, one of these memorable moments was the captivating performance of the song, Memory. This iconic song was performed by Grizabella (Delia Hannah), who owned every note of the stand out song. Goosebumps were a common occurrence in the members of the audience when Delia Hannah gave us this unforgettable moment.
I had heard mixed opinions about Cats before attending the musical for myself. The story-line may have lacked a little clarity at some points, but I would still consider the show to be an utter success. It entertained and enthralled the audience and left the smiles sprawled across each audience member’s face which says more than enough about the performance itself. The finale of the show saw a standing ovation from the crowd who were drenched in confetti and showing off their dazzling smiles in appreciation for the spectacular how.
Adelaide is incredibly lucky to have this spectacular musical come to town. Cats caters for every theatre appetite and is guaranteed to entertain every age group, from tiny little kittens to wise Old Deuteronomy’s.
Photography by Deanna Elise Photography