Reviews: CATS at the London Palladium

A reviews round-up for CATS at the London Palladium starring Nicole Scherzinger.

Nicole Scherzinger in CATS at the London Palladium
Nicole Scherzinger in CATS at the London Palladium

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new production of CATS opened last night (11 December 2014) at the London Palladium.

Reviews are starting to come in for the blockbuster revival, which sees the show’s original creative team reunite for the Palladium run: Andrew Lloyd Webber’s score directed by Trevor Nunn, with design by John Napier and choreography by Gillian Lynne.

Cats stars former Pussy Cat Dolls and X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger in the role of Grizabella, making her West End stage debut in the show.

See reviews below including The Telegraph and Daily Mail.


Book tickets to CATS at the London Palladium

Average Critics Rating


The Daily Telegraph
"Trevor Nunn’s souped-up staging, which lacks the revolve of the New London but doesn’t stint on spectacle... Cats is actually a classy species of panto – fluffy, shiny, just about perfect for this time of year."
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Daily Mail
"In X Factor jargon, Miss Scherzinger nailed it, her low voice almost gasping with emotion, harmonising briefly with another singer before seizing back her solo and clinching it with lusty, self-discovering power. Meow meow meow!! And at the end she looks at us with magisterial pity. The combination of Lloyd Webber airs and T.S. Eliot verses is an enduring artistic achievement. I remain a little allergic to the feyness of the concept yet the Eliot rhymes give it lyrical class."
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The Guardian
"The first thing to say about this revival is that it rethinks what you can do at the London Palladium. John Napier’s junkyard set, with its rusting cars, worn-out tyres and urban detritus, spills out from the stage to embrace the boxes and front stalls. The feline dancers also leap from the stage and prowl through the auditorium as if it were their playground. The show may not be an in-the-round experience as it was in the 1980s, but it still breaks down the barriers between stage and audience." "Take it for what it is and it remains an invigorating dance-spectacle that banishes all thoughts of catnaps."
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Evening Standard
"[Nicole Scherzinger] captures the mournfulness of a character confronting her faded youth. When she sings Memory — the song made famous by Elaine Paige — her yearning and passion are overwhelming."
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The Independent
"Trevor Nunn's youthful cast certainly do their utmost to rejuvenate the material, performing the cartwheels, flips, balletic leaps and aerial spins of Gillian Lynne's demanding choreography with terrific freshness and high-definition zest."
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"Back in the West End after a 12-year absence, and boosted at the box office by a star turn from Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s mega-musical might be one of the strangest things ever to have happened onstage; as much a novelty variety show as a straight-up tuner. Inexplicably, though, it still works pretty well, with storybook charm, retro pizzazz and songs that are as catchy as fleas."
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The Stage
"the biggest star of the show remains John Napier’s blow-up junkyard of a set, which now covers the boxes and climbs up to meet the dress circle, with strings of carnival lights running to the full height of the theatre."
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Daily Express
"Scherzinger is the draw but there is plenty more talent on the stage that shines through the motley collection of songs - some, like Memory and the bump and grind burlesque of Macavity are keepers, others like Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats and Mr Mistoffelees are 1980s museum pieces during which Lynne slips into Pan's People bum-wiggling dance mode."
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📷 Main photo: CATS

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2 thoughts on “Reviews: CATS at the London Palladium”

  1. Myself and my younger cousin saw CATS at the Palladium last night, and were we disappointed? Well, in one very, very big way – yes, we were! But I’ll come to that in a minute, as there was still plenty of talet jumping, dancing and cartwheeling round the stage! Not to mention purely standing there singing! Nicole was good as Grizabella – I have seen better, and her initial performances I found to be a little wooden. However, when her big finale came, she showed me just the right amount of ‘oomph’, and then sorrow and defeat, that I was overall pleased.
    Paul F Monaghan as Gus etc was by far one of the best Gus’s I have ever seen, he totally nailed Old Gus, was terrifying as Growltiger and very funny as Bustopher Jones. The cast on a whole were really fantastic, and I even liked some ‘characters’ that I don’t usually.
    However! Whoever made the decision to change The Rum Tum Tugger AND his song needs to be fired! This was awful, painful and the worst part of the show – which was gutting for me as this number is usually the highlight of my day! Even my cousin who has only seen it live once before agreed and thought it was terrible. This was an atrocious decision, and I think all the old CATS fans (as in, those who saw *anything* prior to this) are going to HATE it as much as I did. It just did not work! And considering he’s a key character and his song is a big one, to say this is a huge disappointment is just the very tip of the iceberg!
    Fortunately, there was so much alternative talent to watch that I can still say that on the whole I enjoyed myself. The dancing was in many places magnificent, and it was nice to see a few normally less active characters showing us what they could do. And of course, the singing on a whole was brilliant as per.
    Honourable mentions go to: Adam Lake as an impressively athletic Alonzo, swing Dane Quixall as a very cheerfully enjoyable Skimbleshanks, Joseph Poulton as a brilliant Mistofelees, and special mentions to Charlene Ford as Bombalurina and Callum Train as Munkustrap. Both performances fantastic, and they were kind enough to meet us at the stage door for autographs and photos. Callum Train even left his present wrapping to come and see us, as we missed him initially – and THAT my friends, is what I call a VERY decent guy! :)

  2. A truly wonderful show, which seemed to have more passion and vitality than the previous time we saw it. The cast were superb, dancing and singing their hearts out. Nicole Scherzinger has a wonderful voice her rendition of “Memory” reduced me to tears. Brilliant – when can I go again.

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