Last night (11 December 2014) at the London Palladium Nicole Scherzinger made her theatrical stage debut as Grizabella in the musical Cats as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s record-breaking show returned to the West End for a limited run. Based on T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, the original creative team – Director Trevor Nunn, Associate Director and Choreographer Gillian Lynne, Designer John Napier and Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber – were reunited to bring Cats back to the West End this Christmas.
On just one special night of the year, all Jellicle cats meet at the Jellicle Ball where Old Deuteronomy, their wise and benevolent leader, makes the Jellicle choice and announces which of them will go up to The Heaviside Layer and be reborn into a whole new Jellicle life.
Cats, one of the longest-running shows in West End and on Broadway, received its world premiere at the New London Theatre in 1981 where it played for 21 record-breaking years and almost 9,000 performances. The production was the winner of the Olivier and Evening Standard Awards for Best Musical. In 1983 the Broadway production became the recipient of seven Tony awards including Best Musical, and ran for eighteen years. Since its world premiere, Cats has been presented in over 30 countries, has been translated into 10 languages and has been seen by over 50 million people world-wide. Both the original London and Broadway cast recordings won Grammy Awards for Best Cast Album. The classic Lloyd Webber score includes Memory which has been recorded by over 150 artists from Barbra Streisand and Johnny Mathis to Liberace and Barry Manilow.
Cats West End cast comprises Cameron Ball (Macavity/Admetus), Kathryn Barnes (Tantomile), Cassie Clare (Cassandra), Ross Finnie (Skimbleshanks), Charlene Ford (Bombalurina), Stevie Hutchinson (Pouncival), Adam Lake (Alonzo), Paul F Monaghan (Bustopher Jones/Asparagus/Growl Tiger), Joel Morris (Carbucketty), Natasha Mould (Jemima), Benjamin Mundy (Coricopat), Antoine Murray-Straughan (Rum Tum Tugger), Joseph Poulton (Quaxo/Mistoffelees), Nicholas Pound (Old Deuteronomy), Sophia Ragavelas (alternate Grizabella), Clare Rickard (Jellylorum/ Griddlebone), Adam Salter (Bill Bailey), Laurie Scarth (Jennyanydots), Nicole Scherzinger (Grizabella), Hannah Kenna Thomas (Victoria/White Cat), Callum Train (Munkustrap), Zizi Strallen (Demeter), Dawn Williams (Rumpleteazer) and Benjamin Yates (Mungojerrie) who are joined by swings Ryan Gover, Barry Haywood, Alice Jane, Grace McKee, Dane Quixall and Libby Watts.
American recording artist, Nicole Scherzinger studied theatre and dance at the Wright State University in Ohio. In 2003 she joined the Pussycat Dolls who have sold 50 million records worldwide, making them one of the best-selling girl groups of all time. She has subsequently gone on to enjoy success as a solo artist, selling 16 million records and having number one singles in the UK. In 2011 she joined the UK version of the X Factor as a judge.
Andrew Lloyd Webber is the composer of some of the world’s best known musicals including Cats, Evita, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Phantom of the Opera and Sunset Boulevard. He owns six London theatres including the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and the London Palladium. The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation has become one of Britain’s leading charities supporting the arts and music. He was knighted by Her Majesty The Queen in 1992 and created an Honorary member of the House of Lords in 1997.
Production images by Alessandro Pinna
Cats is playing at the London Palladium until 28 February 2015. Click here to book tickets