28 July to 9 August 2014
Reviewed by Leah Roberts
Clad in skin tight costumes the Jellicle cats took to the stage and wowed the mesmerised audience. From the very first note I was surrounded by a captivated audience that were literally glued to the stage watching the cats bend, flex and dance around beautifully all while singing exciting melodies and harmonies. The scene – a junk room – was beautifully designed to be multi-level with secret entrances and exits, really effectively lit setting a moody scene which was a total contrast to the bright costumes and the melodies. As each cat sang the spotlight flawlessly found them – it was amazingly choreographed and so much to look at.
CATS doesn’t really have a plot, it’s more a setting and an event – the annual Jellicle ball – when one outcast is allowed into the elusive Jellicle cat club. We then get treated to what I can only describe as auditions of some of the characters. The first and my favourite, Jennyanydots with her mice and cockroaches. Her actions, her voice and expressions combined to give such a wonderful performance who brought smiles to all of the audience, and giggles from the younger members. Bustopher and his prestige, Mungojerrie, Rumpleteazer and Grizabella all joined the cast in the first act to blow us away with their dancing, voices and feline actions.
I found my attention slipping in the second half and actually had to stand to one side as I was getting very hot in the seating area. A few around me were also complaining of the heat and the orchestra was certainly louder than the voices which added to the slightly overwhelming atmosphere.
Throughout the performance I was very impressed with the enthusiasm of the cats, the Egyptian cat was absolutely incredible and caught my attention throughout. Her lithe body movements and flexibility really did remind me of the movements of a feline. As she moved around the stage my eyes constantly found her. Another showstopper for me was The Rum Tum Tugger – he reminded me so much of my own cocky tom cat that I found myself laughing out loud – he certainly captivated the audience. His voice was brilliant and he brought a lot of Tim Curry kind of acting to the stage.
I did enjoy the dancing but found the lack of plot and the overly loud environment slightly off putting. The lighting at the beginning was too much with strobes for a considerable amount of time along with some really loud obnoxious music which made me disorientated. I would recommend the show but would warn about the lack of plot and the need to read up about the characters before hand – it was difficult to hear the lyrics and so quite confusing what was going on at certain times. Overall I did enjoy the evening and would rate the performance 3/5.
Tickets cost from £18 to £45 (plus £1.50 booking fee).
Cats is at the Wales Millennium Centre until 9 August 2014. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 029 2063 6464.
Wales Millennium Centre, Bute Place, Cardiff Bay, CF10 5AL | 029 2063 6464