CCADS return to the Kings Theatre to celebrate their 25th anniversary with their new production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber smash hit musical, Cats.
Drawn from TS Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, Cats is one of the most successful musicals of all time, enjoying record-breaking runs all around the world, including a recent sell-out return to London’s West End.
As an ensemble piece it’s one of the best experiences I’ve had in nearly 35 years of being on stageDanny Owen
CCADS Artistic Director John-Paul McCrohon was inspired by the original poems that he was read as a child, in addition to his affinity for Lloyd Webber’s works that has seen CCADS present the first local productions of musicals such as Aspects Of Love, Whistle Down the Wind and Tell Me On A Sunday over the years.
CCADS promises a thrilling piece of theatre that will appeal to audiences of all ages as the perfect pre-Easter treat for all the family, young and old.
Fresh from winning Best Actor at The WOW247 Awards in January, Danny Owen is returning to the Kings’ stage as Gus, The Theatre Cat.
‘It’s a great part,’ says Danny, ‘and the poem is a lovely piece, harking back to the Edwardian era and the famous actors of that time.
‘He likes to tell stories to anybody who cares to listen, or will give him some gin. He’s a delightful character to play.
‘He tells this beautiful story of his favourite part, when through the magic of theatre we transform to Growltiger’s Last Stand, a fantastic pirate escapade. He sings this fantastic song, Billy McCaw, remembering when he was a youth.
‘I absolutely love it.’
And there’s an extra treat in store for those who come to the show: ‘Our production is slightly different to the West End production – same words and songs, but it’s a little different as to how we’ve put it together, but what we’ve done is a secret for those who come to see it.’
The show also stars Kerry McCrohon, Lauren Kempton, Kevin Redfern, Helen Stoddart, Tony Dart, Sue Rourke, Charlotte Thomas, Matt Sackman, Sean Ridley and Lucy Barratt
And aside from being put through rigorous musical and choreographic paces, they’ve taken part in workshops on make-up and feline characteristics.
Danny says: ‘I find rehearsals tedious, but with this show and this company that John-Paul has pulled together, it’s marvellous, it’s an amazing ensemble of talent.
‘It’s got real depth to what’s going on and everyone’s pulling their weight in it.
‘As an ensemble piece it’s one of the best experiences I’ve had in nearly 35 years of being on stage.’
Kings Theatre, Southsea