‘Cats’ is probably one of the most popular British classics in musical theatre. The show was back last year in London with lots of expectations and this year is back again. I went to see the show in January for the first time with my boyfriend and we cried watching Nicole Scherzinger performing ‘Memory’. You can check the review here. When I knew that ‘Cats’ was coming back for a limited time again I knew that I would see the show one more time for sure. This time, Beverley Knight is Grizabella, but the fantastic Madalena Alberto is the alternate in some of the performances. I love both actresses so much but, if I can choose, I prefer to see Madalena. So I booked my tickets and I brought my sister with me this time, to discover the Jellicle Cats story.
The musical is very unusual and unique. It’s the story of the Jellicle Cats. They meet at the Jellicle Ball to find which cat will be reborn in a new and exciting life. All the cats meet there and discuss who can be the chosen one. It’s a musical created by Andrew Lloyd Webber inspired in the poem book ‘Old Possum’s Book Of Practical Cats’ by T. S. Elliot. There are a lot of different characters but the most important we could say it’s Grizabella, because she appears many times (my sister was complaining that not too much) and she has a story more complex and developed.
The story is a mixture of characters, scenes and emotions. You feel like a kid with Mr. Mistoffelees or very nostalgic with Grizabella. You feel scared with Macavity and funny with Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer. All the characters have a lot of personality and give so many emotions that you can feel it without any problem. The show is very poetic, the lyrics are difficult to get if you’re not an English speaker, but you feel it anyway, somehow. That’s why ‘Cats’ it’s so magical and unique, because it’s so beautiful to see that moves you and changes you. It’s different than lots of musicals made today but it’s so wonderful that it’s a must see, without doubt.
I am very glad to have seen the show twice, because I felt lots of different emotions and enjoyed the effects and choreographies again. The dancers are fantastic, they really look like cats, they dance, move and perform as they were real cats and that’s fantastic and beautiful to see. This time I was at the Royal Circle and I could see the whole stage very well and very close to the actors, I was really surprised and excited. From my perspective I could watch the choreographies in a better way than I saw last year, at the stalls, with the Day Seats. I know all the songs already and it’s one of the best creations of Andrew Lloyd Webber.
This new production of ‘Cats’ incorporates a few changes. Basically effects, you can see a new Heaviside Layer that it’s amazing. Or ‘Gus: The Theatre Cat’, that you can see the theatre where he was performing. Again, I must say that the worst thing from this production is Rum Tum Tugger. It’s worst than I remembered. I didn’t like it at all, for me it breaks the charming and the innocence of the rest of the show. All the musical is made with lots of beautiful and simple melodies, so I didn’t like the hip hop rhythms, I can’t understand why they did that. Of course is not a problem of the actor, who does his best singing and dancing, but what were the creators thinking? Probably they were trying to make the show appealing for some young audiences, but it didn’t work for me.
Grizabella is one of my favourite characters in musicals. She used to be very glamorous but now she’s old, she has lost her sparkle. She is so dramatic, beautiful and passionate, with one of the better hits like ‘Memory’. For this production, her dress and makeup is fantastic, I think it’s stunning. She looks like an unkempt cat, with lot of attitude and sadness at the same time. Last year, Nicole Scherzinger and Kerry Ellis performed as Grizabella. This year it’s the turn of Beverley Knight (which I discovered in ‘Memphis’) and the super talented Madalena Alberto.
I love Madalena Alberto so much, as you know already, so of course I couldn’t wait to see her performing ‘Memory’ and I wasn’t disappointed at all. I felt lots of emotions impregnating my soul. I love her voice so much and it fits really well as Grizabella. She sings ‘The Glamour Cat’ and then ‘Memory’ twice. I wish she was more on stage, but that’s the show, her character isn’t really loved by the rest of cats, so she is hiding all the time. Madalena is a great performer, she was walking slowly, as an old cat, and you could see that she is really enjoying the show. I am very glad for her that she achieved a musical as ‘Cats’. She is performing every Wednesday at the matinee show, so if you can get some tickets I truly recommend it. She is very good doing roles that die. I’m joking, she is fantastic.
‘Cats’ is a great musical, you can learn a lot of it. Also, you can enjoy it and feel lots of emotions. The best is to watch the actors and actresses dancing and acting as cats. And of course, it’s a privilege to listen to some fantastic songs like ‘Memory’, ‘Macavity: The Mystery Cat’ or ‘Jellicle Songs For Jellicle Cats’ (and many more). The musical will be at the London Palladium until the 2nd January 2016. Don’t miss it this time!