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Cats purr back onto the stage

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 30, 2014

By Rob Smyth

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A WORLD-RENOWNED play is making a stop in the Midlands next month.

Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats returns to Birmingham Hippodrome in September on its last stop of a current UK tour before returning to London's West End for a limited run at the iconic London Palladium.

Cats first opened in the West End on May 11, 1981 and ran for a record breaking 21 years playing almost 9,000 performances.

On Broadway it ran for an amazing 18 years and has been performed in more than 300 cities in 26 countries.

The global phenomenon has now been seen by more than a million people worldwide.

Zizi Strallen takes the role of Demeter in the current cast, following in the footsteps of her parents Sandy Strallen and Cherida Langford, her sister Summer Strallen and her aunt, Bonnie Langford, who have all trod the boards in the same production.

Cats is directed by Trevor Nunn, with choreography by Gillian Lynne and set and costume design by John Napier. Re-creating the direction and choreography for the tour is Chrissie Cartwright.

Based on T.S Eliot's 'Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats', Andrew Lloyd Webber's record- breaking Cats tells the story of 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.

The infamous score includes one of Lloyd Webber's most famous melodies, Memory, made famous by stage actress and originator of the role of Grizabella, Elaine Paige.

Cats has featured some of this country's most famous stage performers including Elaine Paige ('Grizabella'), Wayne Sleep ('Mungojerrie'), Bonnie Langford ('Rumpleteazer'), Paul Nicholas ('Rum Tum Tugger'), Brian Blessed ('Old Deuteronomy'), Sarah Brightman ('Jemima') and Rosemarie Ford ('Bombalurina' & 'Grizabella').

The 2013-14 tour of the Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Theatre production of Cats is again presented by David Ian.

CATS arrives at Birmingham Hippodrome from Tuesday, September 9 and runs until Saturday, September 27.

Tickets cost between £17.50 to £42.50.

Performance times from Monday to Saturday are at 7.30pm.

There is also a Wednesday matinee at 2pm and Saturday matinee at 2.30pm.

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