A fresh new interpretation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical masterpiece, CATS, will take over the National Theatre form January 17-25, for a limited season of only 10 shows. This new production by the Young Australian Broadway Chorus (YABC) pays homage to the era when T.S. Eliot wrote the original poems for his children in the 1930s. Audiences will delight as Webber’s renowned musical meets the jazz age and the National Theatre is transformed into a crumbling English Music Hall during the Great Depression.
“I’ve taken the design inspiration for this show away from the traditional junkyard and into a setting that evokes a faded opulence,” said Director Robert Coates. “We want to literally immerse the audience in the story, so we will not only be creating stunning original sets for the stage, but the experience will also extend into the auditorium.”
The show’s costumes, designed by Sean Rentero, are also inspired by the glamour of the roaring ’20s and ’30s.
“Fashion in this era was changing, and the silhouettes of garments like flapper dresses were quite straight, but the costumes we are creating have been designed to flatter the dancers’ bodies and move with them in a dramatic way,” Rentero explained. “I’ve chosen fabrics for their translucent, iridescent quality to shimmer to blur the lines between dancer and cat.”
Over 90 young, talented performers make up the spectacular clowder of Cats who will strut, sing, prance and dance across the stage as they gather together for the annual Jellicle Ball, supported by a youth orchestra.
The YABC has recently presented sell-out seasons of Broadway hits Les Misérables (2019) and Wicked (2018) at the National Theatre, as well as many previous productions, including Spring Awakening (National Theatre), The Secret Garden (Southbank Theatre), Seussical (Malthouse Theatre) and The Wizard of Oz (Union Theatre).
CATS will be presented at National Theatre Melbourne, from 17 – 25 January. For bookings, visit www.catsmusical.com.au.