REVIEW: CAT – THE PLAY (Ambassadors Theatre) ★★★★

Cat The Play Ambassadors TheatreI saw a version of CAT – The Play a few years back at a tiny theatre above a pub somewhere. It was a short show with no set or real props. Since then the show has been developed and turned into a two act play which has just played a two night run at London’s Ambassadors Theatre starring Gerard McCarthy.

Dave the Cat was in the original cast of Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s musical Cats but on the opening night, he was thrown out in the cold and cut from the show. This one man show sees Dave tell the audience his story of how he very nearly tasted fame on the West End stage.

The set is brilliantly designed with quirky, stagey theatrical memorabilia and some comedy posters like one for the phenomenally successful Broadway show Carrie (which actually famously had a very unsuccessful run in New York).

Gerard McCarthy plays a fabulous Cat. A two hour show performed by one man must be no easy task to learn all that dialogue for but Gerard nails it and gives a purrrrfect performance, full of charm and charisma.

The show is a little long and after the first act the audience have really got the gist of what is going on and so it could be a bit shorter and punchier. It’s an extremely stagey play, with theatrical references galore that fell a little flat on some of the West End audience. A late night show, aimed at the theatre community ‘in-crowd’ would undoubtedly bring the house down.

Cat The Play is thoroughly enjoyable and if aimed at the right audience, could make a splash on the London theatre scene.

Reviewed by West End Wilma
Photo: Mark Willshire