Lunchbox Theatrical Productions
Lyric Theatre, HK Academy for Performing Arts. Until June 21.
Reviewed: May 16
Last staged here in 1994, Andrew Lloyd Webber's 28-year-old hit musical Cats returned over the weekend as sleek and energetic as ever, showing little sign of ageing.
Presented by Lunchbox Theatrical Productions and David Atkins Enterprises in association with the Really Useful Group, the touring production (below) directed by Stephen Morgante, features an ensemble of 53 including cast, crew and a live band from Australia, New Zealand and Britain.
Based on T.S Eliot's book of poems Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, the musical is about a feline tribe who are gathering for their annual Jellicle Ball to celebrate the 'rebirth' of one of its members, to be chosen by the Old Deuteronomy (John Ellis).
Among the candidates are Jennyanydots (Laura McCulloch), Rum Tum Tugger (John O'Hara), Grizabella (Delia Hannah) and Gus (Michael-John Hurney). Other than one moment of high drama when Old Deuteronomy is catnapped by the villainous Macavity (James Cooper), there isn't much of a plot. The almost static set also fails to impress. But that's more than compensated for by the spectacular choreography, dancing and strong performances from all singing roles.
Hannah shone in her show-stopping number Memory while O'Hara plays Rum Tum Tugger with charm and humour. Shaun Rennie's Munkustrap has an air of nobility while dancer Adrian Rick leapt and bounced in a jaw-dropping performance as Mr Mistoffelees.
1 Gloucester Rd, Wan Chai, HK$350-HK$795 HK Ticketing. Inquiries: 3128 8288