Cats by City Youth Theatre, Brighton: A Review

TOM – The Old Market Theatre, Hove.

Tuesday 11th – Saturday 15th June 2013

Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber

based on “Old Possum’s Book Of Practical Cats” by T.S. Elliott.

 

A young, talented and energetic cast used all the space of a very well put-together set of “Alley cat” junk and street objects, by crawling round the theatre and interacting with the audience to draw you closer to the feline frolics of a usually confusing storyline.

 

The Jellicle cats gathered for their annual Ball where their leader Old Deuteronomy, played by Jamie Landmann, selected one special cat to be transported to “Heavyside Layer” to be reborn.

 

We were then presented with character sketches, where each cat told their own story in song and dance, hoping to be Deuteronomy’s chosen one.

 

The “stand outs” here for me were Rum Tum Tugger, played by Louis Livesey-Clare, who performed his character as well as a West End stage star.  Alonzo, played by Jordan Lamarca, so feline in his stage presence and interactions with both the cast and the audience, and especially in his interactions with Munkustrap, played by Rory Maguire, who pulled off another stellar performance in the lead role.

 

But the stars of the show, for me, were Rhianna Mcgreevy, who played Grizabella, the cat chosen for rebirth by Old Deuteronomy and Lauren Dawes, who played Jemima.  Despite an out-of-tune bassist and a slightly out-of-time orchestra accompaniment during the famous performance of “Memory”, both girls gave a truly amazing and highly emotive performance vocally and stole the show.  These ladies have a very bright future ahead of them.

 

Once again, Producer and Artistic Director Katy Markey has made her mark (pardon the pun!) on youth theatre in Brighton.  Assisted by an amazing team that included Ben Simpson, Luke Marshall, Josh Mills, Dara Novakovic, Joe Mott, Amanda and Vicky Schofield, CYTC produced and performed a production to be proud of.