Andrew Lloyd Webber’s record-breaking musical, Cats opens in Eastbourne tonight (22 August).
This 2015 Olivier award nominated musical is based on T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, a classic in modern musicals it returned to the West End in December 2014 reuniting the original 1981 creative team - Director Trevor Nunn, Associate Director and Choreographer Gillian Lynne, Designer John Napier and, of course, Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber.
The story tells how 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 including; Barbra Streisand, Johnny Mathis, Liberace and Barry Manilow.
The show runs at The Congress Theatre until Saturday 27 August.