The memory returned to the North East again, this time it has been in Newcastle at the Theatre Royal for two weeks and I caught the final performance on Saturday night. This is the second time I have seen this production after seeing it at the Sunderland Empire in May 2013. Most of the cast were the same and that is such a good thing, the only noticeable change for me was someone different taking on the very difficult role of the Rum Tum Tugger. This was a bit of a shame as the current actor taking on that part isn’t quite as good as the one who was in the tour back when I saw it last year.
Even though this is a musical, it really is much more about the dancing. We get plenty of different styles of dance throughout, the physical demands of being in Cats must be one of the worst in theatre. They really do constantly move around, whether it be taking centre stage for the main dance, backing them up, moving cat-like over the edges of the stage, running about or sliding on the stage. The movement is constant and it really does make it fantastic to watch from start to finish.
You do find yourself waiting to hear Memory being belted out and it is truly an incredible theatre moment. The emotion put into the song and the way the words speak to you and how utterly sad it all is right in front of you. It really is a very special moment that you will be pleased to enjoy over and over again. The tour only has a couple of dates left before Cats is returning to London for a 12 week stint at the London Palladium. The cast is yet to be announced so it will be interesting to see how many of the cast from this tour will be in that production as well.
The audience throughly enjoyed every moment of the show and it really is just great to watch. Remember if your in the stalls and sitting on the end you will get a little bit of a surprise throughout with plenty of cats running about. The thing with the Theatre Royal though was that there wasn’t enough space for them to run across the front of the stage and jump off into the front row. But this made it a different experience to the Sunderland Empire last year.
If you like musicals I challenge you to see Cats (if you haven’t already) actually if you saw it years ago I still advise you to go and see it again. They keep changing shows and giving them a new lease of life. The dances really are well worth a ticket for this, it truly is amazing!