CATS Coming to Marlowe Theatre, 16-28 June

CATS Coming to Marlowe Theatre, 16-28 June

CATS, one of the longest-running shows in West End and Broadway history, comes to Canterbury later this month (June).

Based on T S Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, Andrew Lloyd Webber's record- breaking adaptation is directed by Trevor Nunn, with choreography by Gillian Lynne and set and costume design by John Napier. Re-creating the direction and choreography for the tour is Chrissie Cartwright.

Including one of Lloyd Webber's most memorable musical scores, spectacular set design, extraordinary costumes and stunning choreography, Cats is a uniquely magical musical.

On just one special night of the year, all Jellicle cats meet at the Jellicle Ball where Old Deuteronomy, their wise and benevolent leader, makes the Jellicle choice and announces which of them will go up to the heaviside layer and be reborn into a whole new Jellicle life.

Cats opened at the New London Theatre on 11 May 1981 and played almost 9,000 performances. It closed on 11 May 2002, having celebrated 21 record-breaking years and winning an Olivier Award for Best Musical (1981).

On Broadway it was the winner of seven Tony Awards (including Best Musical and Best Director) and ran for an amazing 18 years, making it second only to The Phantom Of The Opera as Broadway's longest running musical.

Cats continues to be a worldwide musical phenomenon: to date Cats remains one of the world's longest running musicals and has been seen by more than 50 million people. It has enchanted audiences in more than 300 cities in 26 countries around the world and has been performed in at least 10 different languages. Cats was last seen in the UK in 2008 where it enjoyed a hugely successful tour playing to sell-out audiences across the country, including The Marlowe Theatre.

Cats has featured some of this country's most famous stage performers including Elaine Paige (Grizabella), Wayne Sleep (Mungojerrie), Bonnie Langford (Rumpleteazer), Paul Nicholas (Rum Tum Tugger), Brian Blessed (Old Deuteronomy), Sarah Brightman (Jemima) and Rosemarie Ford (Bombalurina and Grizabella).

Zizi Strallen (sister to Summer and Scarlett and part of the Strallen musical theatre dynasty) has recently joined the cast of Cats. Her aunt is Bonnie Langford, and both her parents were also in the show, as was Summer.

Cats is at The Marlowe Theatre from Monday 16 to Saturday 28 June, with performance times at 7.30pm and 2.30pm matinees (Thursdays and Saturdays). Tickets, priced from £16 to £44 (concessions available; booking fee applies), are from the Box Office on 01227 787787 or at marlowetheatre.com.

For Deaf and hearing-impaired customers, the show will be signed (7.30pm, Thursday 19 June) and captioned (2.30pm, Saturday 21 June).

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