REVIEW: Cats, Sunderland Empire

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CATS the musical provides a purrfect insight into the mysterious feline world.

Sing-along songs, dazzling dance routines and colourful characters made this show stand out from others I’ve seen.

Based on T. S. Eliot’s children’s story the Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, the theatrical show told the tale of a crew of cats called the Jellicles who gather each year for the Jellicle Ball in hope they will be chosen to be reborn by their wise and much-loved leader Old Deuteronomy.

Set in the cats’ playground – a rubbish dump cluttered with car parts and rusting metal – the unique stage production included props over-spilling from the stage and provided an interesting backdrop for the Jellicle Ball, where each cat got their chance to take the spotlight.

One by one they stepped forward in a bid to audition to be reborn.

Feline favourites included: curious cat Rum Tum Tugger, dancing duo Rumpleteazer and MungoJerrie and the villainous Macavity.

Grizabella, The Glamour Cat, played by Joanna Ampil, who is desperate to return to the Jellicle clan performed a stunning rendition of the famous song Memory.

Eventually, she became the Jellicle choice and was raised to the Heaviside Layer on an illuminated cloud to be reborn.

The attention to detail with the choreography and expressive dance sequences was impressive.

At times, the dancers actions actually reminded me of my cat, which tickled me.

Flashing cats eyes, lavish make-up and costumes plus an intriguing music score added to the drama as the feline friends roamed around the theatre among the audience.