Royal Ballet Principal Francesca Hayward Joins CATS Film as Victoria!
Another kitten has joined the litter! According to the Daily Mail's Baz Bamigboye, the Royal Ballet principal dancer Francesca Hayward will reportedly play Victoria (the white cat) in the upcoming film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats.
Hayward trained at The Royal Ballet School and graduated into the Company during the 2010/11 Season, PROMOTED to First Artist in 2013, Soloist in 2014, First Soloist in 2015 and Principal in 2016. Hayward studied at The Royal Ballet School 2003-11 and while a student won the 2009 Lynn Seymour Award for Expressive Dance, the 2010 Young British Dancer of the Year and both silver medal and the Audience Choice Award at the 2010 Genée International Ballet Competition. After joining The Royal Ballet she represented the Company at the 2012 International Competition for the Erik Bruhn Prize and won Best Emerging Artist (2014) and Grishko Award For Best Female Dancer (2016) at the Critics' Circle National Dance Awards.
She joins a cast already featuring Academy Award-winner Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, James Corden, Iris Elba, Judi Dench and pop star Taylor Swift. Tom Hooper will direct the project for Working Title pictures which is set to begin shooting in November in London.
Cats made its return to Broadway last summer at the Neil Simon Theatre and was also recently staged at the London Palladium for a limited 12-week run, starring former Pussycat Doll singer Nicole Scherzinger in the role of 'Grizabella'.
Composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber and based on T.S. Eliot's "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats," the original Broadway production opened in 1982 at Broadway's Winter Garden Theatre, where it ran for 7,485 performances and 18 years. Cats was originally produced on Broadway by Cameron Mackintosh, The Really Useful Company Limited, David Geffen, and The Shubert Organization.
Since its world premiere, Cats has been presented in over 30 countries, has been translated into 15 languages, and has been seen by more than 73 million people worldwide. Originally directed by Trevor Nunn with choreography and associate direction by Gillian Lynne, scenic and costume design by John Napier, lighting design by David Hersey, and sound design by Martin Levan, Cats opened in the West End in 1981. The same creative team brought the musical to Broadway in 1982 where it won seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Both the original London and Broadway cast recordings won GRAMMY AWARDS for Best Cast Album. Cats hit song "Memory" has been recorded by over 150 artists from Barbra Streisand and Johnny Mathis to Liberace and Barry Manilow.
The Tony Award-winning Best Musical held the title of longest-running musical in Broadway history until it was surpassed in 2006 by LES MISERABLES and later by Webber's THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. The original Broadway production closed on September 10, 2000 and is currently the fourth longest-running show in Broadway history.