The Kings Theatre, Southsea.
Cats isn’t a child-friendly musical. Highly demanding, the cast need to sing non-stop for two hours and have the balletic technique to realise the feline characters.
On this front, The Petersfield School’s production rose to the challenge.
The cast was in tune throughout, and I had to remind myself I was watching an amateur show during the dance sequences.
Backflips and aerial splits were common, and while the whole cast should be applauded Marissa Hancock deserves particular praise for her incredible tap routine as Jennyanydots, delivered in a golden tasseled catsuit that was the crowning glory of the quality staging and costumes. Even if some of the wigs were less Cats, more Planet of The Apes.
While the show was a feast for the eyes, at times my ears weren’t as impressed. Old Deuteronomy sang ‘you don’t need an interpreter to understand our character’, which was ironic as poor diction and mic issues left swathes of dialogue hard to understand.
Thankfully, the student band provided a pleasing backdrop to the action, and Dash Buckley as elderly theatre cat Asparagus shone with conviction as the best actor.
It was a shame that when the cast entered the audience one girl corpsed and another forgot her lines and squealed. Hopefully just first night nerves.