Cats to return to Sunderland Empire

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CATS the musical will have Wearside audiences purring with pleasure when it lands at the Sunderland Empire next year.

The long-running West End show will return to the city in May, seven years after its last visit.

Photo credit  Ian West/PA Wire

Photo credit Ian West/PA Wire

Based on T.S Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s record-breaking adaptation has become a worldwide phenomenon, having been seen by more than 50million people.

The show, which was last seen in the UK in 2008, will visit Edinburgh and Manchester on its way to a two-week run at the Empire.

Empire general manager Ben Phillips said: “We’re delighted to secure the return of one of the most successful West End musicals ever, Cats, to the venue for a limited two-week run next year.

“Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical phenomenon will be enjoyed by theatre-goers experiencing the show for the first time and also loyal fans who have seen the show time and time again. It really is a show for everyone and one which is not to be missed.

“Next year is promising to be very exciting for us, with some very popular shows making a welcome return. These include Rocky Horror Show, Hairspray, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”

Including one of Lloyd Webber’s most memorable music scores, the show is renowned for its extraordinary costumes and stunning choreography.

Cats first opened at the New London Theatre in 1981 and ran for 21 years until it closed in 2002, following almost 9,000 performances. While on Broadway it picked up seven Tony Awards, including Best Music and Best Director.

The 2013 tour will be directed by 
Trevor Nunn and choreographed by Gillian Lynne, with set and costume design by John Napier.

Cats has starred the likes of Elain Paige, Brian Blessed, Sarah Brightman and Wayne Sleep.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s other work includes Jesus Christ Superstar, which has recently seen Sunderland’s Ben Forster play the lead role.

Cats is at the Sunderland Empire from Tuesday, May 28 until Saturday, June 8.

Tickets go on sale today and are priced between £10 and £37.5.

To book call the Ticket Centre on 0844 871 3022 or go online at

Twitter: @sunderlandecho