Video: Andrew Lloyd Webber Sends Message Of Support to Ukrainian Students Performing CATS in Bomb Shelter

The school has been damaged by Russian shelling.

By: Mar. 23, 2023
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Students at a school in Kiyv recorded a production of the musical CATS from their bomb shelter amid the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

In their bomb shelter, and despite numerous power outages - the children created a production complete with backdrop, lighting, and costumes.

Andrew Lloyd Webber, who is absent from Bad Cinderella on Broadway's opening night tonight to be with his son as he is moved to hospice care, recorded a video for the students.

"I am absolutely honored to give you my huge encouragement for everything you're doing with CATS. I can only think what you're going through - it's absolutely stunning that you would want to do my CATS. You have my complete support..." said Lloyd Webber.

It is shown in the video that the student's school has been damaged by Russian shelling, creating the need for students to learn from their shelters.

Composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber and based on T.S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, the record-breaking musical spectacular has captivated audiences in over 30 countries and 15 languages and is currently on tour across North America.

Since its world premiere, CATS has been seen by more than 75 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 Abe Jacob, CATS opened in London's West End in 1981.

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.  The Tony Award-winning Best Musical held the title of longest-running musical in Broadway history until it was surpassed in 2006 by Lloyd 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. 

CATS returned to Broadway in July 2016 in a stunning revival at the Neil Simon Theatre, where it ran through December 2017.