Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new production of CATS was launched today at the London Palladium.

The iconic musical, which opens on 6 December 2014 at the London Palladium, is getting a makeover courtesy of the show’s original creative team – composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, choreographer Gillian Lynne, director Trevor Nunn and designer John Napier.

Lloyd Webber, Lynne and Nunn were all at the London launch today, 7 July 2014, along with the show’s producer David Ian (The Bodyguard).

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s record-breaking show, which is based on T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, will run for a limited 12 week season at the Palladium.

The composer will re-write the music to two of Eliot’s poems, including setting Rum Tum Tugger to a rap. He told the launch audience that, “hopefully its’ going to be a brand new cats”.

Gillian Lynne also hinted at introducing different and more contemporary dance styles in the show’s makeover. She jokingly revealed that the hugely physical show, which is one of the only musicals that is dominated by dance, has been responsible for giving her two metal hips and a metal knee. She said that the musical, told through dance, was “not like any other show at all”.

Trevor Nunn (left), Andrew Lloyd Webber and Gillian Lynne pose with some of the cast of the touring production of Cats, outside the London Palladium. Photo by Dan Wooller

Trevor Nunn (left), Andrew Lloyd Webber and Gillian Lynne pose with some of the cast of the touring production of Cats, outside the London Palladium. Photo by Dan Wooller

John Napier will re-imagine and update the design of the original production.

Chrissie Cartwright, who is the long term Associate Director of Cats, will work with Nunn and Lynne in re-directing the production for the London Palladium.

Given that the show will run over the Christmas season, the producers are going to lay on a full “Cats Experience” at the theatre including using the Val Parnell Bar to host kid’s activities including Cats face painting and a photo-booth where the audience can have their picture taken as a cat!

The original West End and Broadway runs of the show both claimed the “longest-running musical” records, and Cats has gone on to tour to over 300 cities worldwide, making it one of the world’s most successful shows. Its awards include Olivier and Evening Standard Awards for Best Musical and seven Tony Award wins.

Cats was originally produced by Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Group Limited, with this new staging – which is based on the current UK tour – produced by David Ian.

This is the second Andrew Lloyd Webber show this month that has announced its return to London, with the current touring production of Evita starring Marti Pellow coming to the Dominion Theatre for a limited season from 16 September 2014.

Casting for Cats is to be announced in September.

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