A reviews round-up for CATS at the London Palladium starring Nicole Scherzinger.
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.
REVIEWS ROUND-UP"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."
"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."
"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."
"[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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
Date: 12 December 2014
Written by: WestEndTheatre
Tags: Andrew Lloyd Webber, Cats, London Palladium, Nicole Scherzinger, reviews round-up