Preparations for the Arrival of CATS
When coming to Finland Cats faced the same designing problems as everywhere else. Cats is a very demanding production with lots of special effects. The theatre that hosted Cats in Finland, Helsingin kaupungin teatteri (Helsinki City Theatre in English), required many quite drastic changes. The lighting of Cats actually forced the theatre to renew the entire lighting system of the theatre, and the sound systems also required many big adjustments. The designers had to be careful, because this theatre wouldn't be used for Cats full-time. Cats would be on one day and the next day they would take everything down for a different show. Three hours for removing and six hours for rebuilding were the time limits of the setting. Because of this, special care was needed in the designing. Everything had to be spectacular enough for Cats, but also very adaptable. In addition to changes made to the theatre, Cats faced other difficulties in Finland. For example the original translation of Cats into Finnish was not accepted by London because they felt it wasn't close enough to TSE's poems. All in all the translation was redone 4 times. Of course, the aim of the Finnish production had never been to make an exact copy of the London or Broadway productions, but rather to produce an own interpretation. The Finnish production had received a special right to do a version of Cats with different makeups, costumes, and even choreographies than before. This means that Cats was probably quite original in Finland, to say the least. Other problems arose, too. For example, the electricians went on strike two months before he premier night. The opening night of the show was actually moved twice, and it ended up opening on September 18, 1986.