One musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber above all has proven it has more than nine lives because it holds a record as being one of the longest-running shows in West End and Broadway history.
And Cats will next week pounce on to the Milton Keynes Theatre stage in a version directed by Chrissie Cartwright, which includes all the musical’s memorable songs.
Based on T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, the story revolves around one special night of the year when all Jellicle cats meet at the Jellicle Ball. There, 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 first opened at the New London Theatre in May, 1981, and played almost 9,000 performances. It closed 21 years later, having won 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 18 years.
To date, Cats remains one of the world’s longest-running musicals and has been seen by more than 50 million people.
It has featured some of the country’s most famous stage performers, including Wayne Sleep, Bonnie Langford, Paul Nicholas, Brian Blessed and Sarah Brightman.
Cats will run at Milton Keynes Theatre from Tuesday, June 25 to Saturday, July 6. Performances will take place at 7.30pm each day, but there will also be a Wednesday and Saturday matinee at 2.30pm.
Tickets cost £10-£37.50.
To book or for more information, call the theatre’s box office on 0844 871 7652 or visit www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes