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April 2004
Gatophile or Gatophobic? Cats reviewed
Cast of Cats
Lords of lycra - the cast of Cats On Tour at De Montfort Hall
Best night out ever or complete waste of time? Our two reviewers saw exactly the same show, and came away with opposing views.

The show is sold out, but you can catch Martin Ballard's interviews with the cast of cats here.
WATCH and LISTEN
  BBC Radio Leicester's Martin Ballard spoke to the cast of Cats:
audio Rum Tum Tugger - aka Stuart Ramsay (28k)
audio Laura Brydon's professional debut - as Rumpelteazer (28k)
audio The White Cat - ballet dancer Emily Anderson's first musical role (28k)
audio Trish McAuley -how many ways can the wardrobe mistress skin a cat? (28k)
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Cats on Tour
De Montfort Hall
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FACTS

The various names for a phobia of cats are: Aclurophobia, Eilurophobia,
Elurophobia, Felinophobia, Galeophobia, or Gatophobia.

At the same time that Cats is showing at De Montfort Hall, The Phoenix has performances of The Diary of A Killer Cat, by Anne Fine

Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical based on Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, a collection of poems by T.S. Eliot

Cats is the longest running musical in British musical history.
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Loved it.
I hadn't a clue what 'Cats' was going to be about!

Naïve? - probably. Stupid? - not particularly. I'd never given it a second, or in fact, first thought.

On sharing this revelation with my colleagues they said - as you no doubt are - "didn't the title give it away?" It should have, but never the less I went along with no preconceived notions.

The White Cat
Victoria the white cat ...leg warmers a go-go

As soon as it began I was hooked. The music was fantastic, the singing breathtaking and the dancing, well since I have danced myself since the tender age of three, I can be quite a critic at times - looking for fault when there is none - probably out of sheer envy, but on this occasion I could find no fault. The energy was phenomenal, the choreography exceptional.
The ballet training, so many of them had undertaken, was obvious. The show was a constant array of colour, vibrancy and activity.

I soon discovered the production was about 'cats'! Nothing more,nothing less. A series of short stories with one rather flimsy thread running throughout. Different characteristics of cats shown through song and dance - the tom cat, the house cat, the loner …

I dragged along my other half - he's often sat through nights out chosen by me - The Nut Cracker and Rocky Horror Show to name but two. At heart though he's a die hard Leicester City Supporter, enjoying nothing more than downing a few pints and pointing out the errors of the refer. He however surprised me by summing up our evening in far fewer words than I could ever have done "That was fantastic" he said "probably one of the best nights out I've ever had". On that we both agreed.

Lisa Reeves


Hated it....well disliked it.

Rum Tum Tugger
Rum Tum Tugger - warm and fuzzy in fluff and greasepaint

Do not mistake me, the mostly young cast throw themselves into this production with engaging energy and enthusiasm.

It wasn't the performance that left me unmoved, it was the show.

To be blunt, I simply cannot understand how Cats has become one of the world's most popular musicals.

There is something insufferably twee about the whole enterprise summed up by the oft-repeated, cringe-making phrase 'Jellicle Cats'.

There is little in the way of plot and the music doesn't make up for this lack. The score contains only one or two decent songs and the arrangements exude a whiff of the 80s.

Indeed, the whole show seems disastrously dated. Lycra was once pretty cool. Now it simply looks old fashioned.

The classic musicals (eg. Oklahoma! or Show Boat) seem timeless. They come up fresh as paint with every revival. Cats has not stood the test of time.
John Florance

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Christina Evans
Took my 7 year old daughter to see it and thought it was absolutely fantastic.........went straight out and bought the DVD!!!!!!!

Lianne Clamp
A musical, with a story which I doubt can be compared to any other, or ever will be. From lighting to costumes, this musical is stunning. These enthusiastic stars have pure talent in dancing, acting and singing, making CATS truly magical. The score is enchanting, and the on-stage action gripping.

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