Tuesday, 29 December 2015


The only other time I saw 'Cats' was in New York in 1986 armed with a discount ticket from the Times Square outlet and for that discount I had a restricted view of the stage. About a third of the stage was out of my sight lines and it seemed to me most of the action was happening in or emanated from that third.

My recollection of that production was of lots of choreography, lots of repetitive musical themes and lots of dark scenes.

I have always thought that cats look cute in Disney cartoons but otherwise I have never been enamoured of them.

Overall I never felt an interest to revisit the show.

'Cats' is currently on revival in Australia. Finding myself in Melbourne on a snap decision for a totally unplanned Christmas visit I discovered 'Cats' to be playing within a block of my accommodation and so I went along.

This Australian production has an impressive ensemble cast. These Aussies sure can sing and dance and move and act beautifully. The show is still all choreography, all repetitive musical themes and mainly staged in darkness. It is a show that relies on its staging, movement, costumes and images. In that respect this production is excellent.

As a musical play, however, 'Cats' does little for me. Excellent as this staging is, a viewing once every thirty years will be sufficient for me. The enthusiastic reception by others in the audience indicates not everyone agrees with me.

★★★1/2 (for the quality of the production and performance)

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