Musical felines still enchanting audiences after three decades

FANTASTIC FELINES Ben Palmer as Munkustrap in Cats.
FANTASTIC FELINES Ben Palmer as Munkustrap in Cats.

When Cats first opened in the West End in 1981, it was a musical like no other.

Those who had questioned the wisdom of a show based solely on the lives of cats could only watch in awe as it went on to win critical acclaim and a legion of loyal fans worldwide.

The latest UK tour drew theatre-goers of all ages to Bradford’s Alhambra Theatre where an impressive cast performed to a packed house.

The incredible costumes, make-up and staging drew us in from the first moment, creating a vivid world to explore.

Company numbers like The Naming of Cats and Jellicle Ball paired impeccably timed dancing and rich vocals to superb effect.

Upbeat numbers shared the playful side of the most fun-loving characters, with Oliver Savile’s turn as the prankster Rum Tum Tugger and Francesca Whiffin as Jennyanydots among my favourites.

Gus: The TheatreCat, a wonderful duet between Claire Pickard (Jellylorum) and Paul F Monaghan (Asparagus), was heartwarming and moving in equal measure.

Lily Frazer (Demeter) and Melissa Hames (Bombalurina) shone in MacAvity, while Ben Palmer gave a commanding performance as Munkustrap.

Of course, the song so many were waiting to hear was Memory – and Alice Redmond did not disappoint with her powerful rendition.

A truly memorable show that any musical fan must see.