Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit musical ‘Cats’ is returning to London’s West End in a revamped version with a hip-hop flavour.
Opening in London in 1981, it ran for a record-breaking 21 years.
Based on TS Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, the musical has won numerous awards over the years.
Webber, whose recent West End shows have failed to draw crowds, is delighted to have a chance to tinker with his original adaptation:
“I’m going to have the opportunity to rewrite or reset a couple of the poems which I didn’t think I did very well in the first place and I’ve for a long time wanted to get at that, so really we’re approaching it as an opportunity to re-examine and refresh it and think through a piece that quite honestly changed all our lives,” he said.
Staged in more than 26 countries, Cats has been translated into 10 languages and been seen by more than 50 million people worldwide.
“And it also changed what everybody thought a musical could achieve, particularly in Britain, because they all thought we had two left feet and nobody could dance, sing and act at the same time. The idea of setting T.S. Eliot’s poems – he was a dead poet – to music and my having never set poetry before and all of that – every single thing was stacked up against ‘Cats’ and yet, and yet it turned into the biggest thing that I had ever had up until that time,” said Lloyd Webber.
The new production reunites the original creative team of director Trevor Nunn, designer John Napier and choreographer Gillian Lynne.
“I like the audience to be sexually excited because I want them to go home and have a lovely leap on the bed and have a lovely time together because cats, they don’t hold back, do they? They’re either very sensual and very private, or they’re like this, or they’re quietly at it, making little kitties,” said Gillian Lynne.
‘Cats’ opens in time for Christmas at London’s Palladium for a three-month run.