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.”
This theme also extends to the stunning costumes inspired by the glamour of the roaring 20s and 30s which have been designed for the show by Sean Rentero.
“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 dancer’s bodies and move with them in a dramatic way,” said Sean. “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 have 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).
Director: Robert Coates Choreographer: Jacqui Green Musical Directors: Justin Jacobs, Ned Wright-Smith Set Designer: Dann Barber Costume Designer: Sean Rentero Lighting Designer: Linda Hum Sound Designer: Marcello Lo Ricco Production Manager: Joshua Mulcahy Assistant Choreographer: Victoria Morris Assistant Musical Director: Emilt Wilkinson Producer: Elysia Krstevski
National Theatre, 20 Carlisle Street, St Kilda
Season: 18 – 25 January 2020 (preview: 17 – 18 January)
Information and Bookings: www.catsmusical.com.au
Image: CATS – courtesy of Young Australian Broadway Chorus (YABC)