LIVE REVIEW: Cats, Todmorden Hippodrome Youth Theatre 18th/22nd October

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Todmorden Hippodrome Youth Theatre demonstrated their usual great teamwork in this production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Cats’, which is based on Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T S Eliot. All of the characters are cats, and that is how they moved: the dancing and acrobatics were superb. The plot is daft but serves to enable Munkustrap (well played by James Waring) who is in effect an MC, to introduce us to the Jellicle Cats. Other cast members also brought to our notice particular cats. Among these are the languorous Jennyanydots (Amelia Gregory), the Rum Tum Tugger (your typical cat, brought to life by Callum Roberts), the bumptious Bustopher Jones (Noah Bhilmull Hilton), the athletic and mischievous Mungojerrie (Iris Palmer) and Rumpleteazer (Sarah Brierley), the bossy Skimbleshanks (Ellie Spooner), the fiendish Macavity (Eliza Edwards), and the magical Mr Mistoffelees (Caitlin Ianelli): great performances here. Notable as singers were cat patriarch Old Deuteronomy (Dylan Jones) and faded glamour cat Grizabella (Alyse Costello) who gave a powerful and moving performance of the show’s best-known song ‘Memory’.

The show concluded with instructions on the addressing of cats. Cat owners will not be surprised to learn that caviar and potted grouse feature.