Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Cats -review- Newcastle Theatre Royal

Newcastle Musical Theatre Company

Newcastle Theatre Royal
24th July 2018

So...... I have been waiting to see this show since they announced it 2 years ago and it didn't disappoint!!

The Music is written by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and is based on Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S Eliot.

Basically it's just poems about cats made into a musical.

Now Newcastle Musical Theatre always put on great shows and I enjoy them all the time but unfortunately not everyone was paying attention especially the people sitting behind me and talking throughout so thank you to them.

This show must have been hard work and I have to say credit goes to the production team including director Sandra Laidler and Liam Gilbert who was MD.

There are many  jellicle cats in the world and we meet lots in this show and I'll try to introduce as many as I can but please don't kill me if I forget (I only have one life not 9).

We see them in their natural habitat and see how they react to each other and their enemies.

Where to bloody start? Well Age before beauty so Old Deuteronomy is the oldest cat and has lived many lives he is admired and loved by the other cats and was played by the wise Ken Allen and I can understand why, his stage presence is amazing.

Paul Dixon needs to have a mention as Munkostrap who just bought something to the role that just grabbed your attention from the start to the finish telling the main part of the story well but breathe and relax dude.

Munkostrap tells us that Old Deuteronomy has the power to give one cat a new life, but who does he chose?

Jack Hindmarch who is a fantastic dancer played the double role of Quaxo and Mistofolees.

Rum Tum Tugger was played by Jamie Douglass who people may remember from West Side Story where he played Tony.

James Forster plays Shimbleshanks really well and he is a good addition to NTMC.
His singing for Shimbleshanks the railway cat was great.

That part was fantastic and really well choreographed by Sandra Laidler.

Lauren Gordon and Bryony Souza Hawkins make a good vocal harmony especially when they sing Macavity who was played by the ever young Ty - Roach Thompson.

Macavity is the Evil Cat who seems to do all the evil things but he never gets caught!!
I'm sure we all know someone like that.

Jellylorum and Jennyanydots where both full of life and had great voices when there wasn't technical problems which you never plan against (Sod's law)They were played by Helen Cash and Nathalie Baxter.

Charles Doherty didn't just play two characters but 3.

Someone who has been in more lead roles than I can remember back in the day is Shireen Gale who plays Griddlebone.
I didn't realise who she was at first but looking back I'm surprised.

Old Gus was played by one of the older men in the show Dan Greener who is only in his 40s I believe.

The terrible twosome Rumpleteazer and Mungojerrie were played with so much passion and energy by Bethanie Johnson (who I want to congratulate her as she's getting married in less than 4 weeks) and Carl Luke.
They do cartwheels in quick succession and tonight they pulled it off (Just)!!

This is the only time in the show that there isn't that many people on stage and they had freedom to roam the stage in their mischievous manner.

Shannon Thompson and Laura Wood also need a mention as Victoria and Jemima respectively.

I also have to give a mention to Jessica Carle whose mother I had the joy of coming with (who is also Sandra's younger sister by 5 years she did tell me to say this so don't kill me)!!

OMG I nearly forget Grizabella played by Jojo Hatfield who's voice made my hair stand on end especially when she sang Memory.
Grizabella is an old cat on the edge of society who just wants to be loved.

I'm not going to spoil the ending for you.

The production was amazing and I can't tell you how fantastic the show is you just have to see it.

The Make up was fab and lighting was amazing   the dancing was great and it's definately a show to watch.

2019 is SPAMALOT and its going to be great.

But I have to say this show was PURRRFECT.

Reuben Hiles

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