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Facts About CATS

Taken from the 1989 UK Tour brochure (Blackpool)

Since the original production of CATS opened at the New London Theatre on 11th May 1981, until it's 8th birthday on the 11th May 1989;

The Box Office
Have used 28 miles of adding machine paper, 416,000 paper cups, 17,000 headache pills, 3 boxes of 1000 envelopes every fortnight. (624 boxes or 624,000 envelopes)

The Crew
Have replaced over 3,300 seats, added 52,000 new screws, used over 19,000 posters to cover the floor (or 80,000 sq. ft.) and covered it with 192 gallons of varnish. Wood for the Star Trap has been replaced six times each week (2,496ft or 832 yds or just under 1/2 mile), 3 litres hand cleaner each week (1,248 litres or 280 gallons).

The Sound Department
Have used 30 new mikes per year = 240 mikes, 50 new aerials per year = 400 aerials, 50 batteries per week = 20,800.

The Stage Management
Have used 1000 plastic cups per month, 2000 elastic bands per year, 50 Neurofen tablets per week, 1 pkt of Megazones throat tablets per week = 13,312 packets for the Company, 1 pint of milk every day, 1 gold pen per week for signing programmes and posters) 4 Andrex loo rolls per week for everything but the loo (!) or over 200 a year.

The Wardrobe Department
Has replaced 5 pairs of shoes per week = 2,080 pairs. Sewn on 6 x 15 sq. inch knee patches per night = 1,560 sq. ft. of material, 1,840 costumes for 140 artistes (80" x 60" = 4,800 sq. inch x 1,840 = 8,832,000 sq. inch or 6,184 sq. yds). 28ozs of wool per garment (3,680 garments = 6,440lbs of wool), each company member goes through a box of Kleenex tissues per week = 13,312, 100 cotton reels of 1000m every 4 months = 2,400 reels/km or 1500 miles which could reach Rabat in Morocco or Athens or Helsinki.

The Stage Electrics Department
There are 1,663 bulbs in the auditorium. 30 are changed each week = 12,480. Each bulb roughly has been changed 7 times. They have used 16,295ft of cabling.

The Make Up Department
Have used 5,760 sponges, 72 batches of each eyeshadow, pencils, blushers, lipstick and mascara ordered each year.

Has had air time on Radio and TV in the UK 25,000 times - 7,000 in first 6 months, 697 in last 6 months. Has over 1000 different versions and recordings. The total sheet music sales in the UK is 70,000. Air time in the USA passed the 1 million mark mid 1998 (BMI). If you were to listen to the song that many times it would take you five years!

Taken from 10th Anniversary Press Cuttings (1991)

  • Cats opened at the New London Theatre on Mya 11th, 1981, at a cost of 495,000.
  • The London production has made a profit of 15 million, and worldwide profit of more than 500 million.
  • Principal song, Memory, has been recorded in more than 100 different versions and been played on UK TV and radio 30,000 times.
  • The production crew has replaced 4,100 seats using 65,000 screws.
  • The cast has used up 2,600 pairs of shoes and 2,300 costumes.
  • Audiences and cast have consumed 520,00 paper cupes and 21,00 headache pills.
  • There have been 12 weddings among the London cast, producing 14 babies.

    Taken from the U.K theatre magazine "Theatregoer", May 2002 edition.

    Claws celebre - Londons favourite show closes

    On 11th May 2002 we wave a fond farewell to Cats in the West End. Since the opening night in 1981, more than eight million people have seen the show in London alone, and there have been productions of the show in 11 languages in more than 300 cities across 26 countries. Most people know that the original cast included Elaine Paige - as Grizabella the Glamour Cat - Brian Blessed, Paul Nicholas, Wayne Sleep and Sarah Brightman. But were you aware that in the past 21 years....

  • The make up department has used 72 batches of eyeshadow, blusher, lipstick and mascara per year, applied with 10,800 sponges!
  • The wardrobe department has replaced five pairs of shoes per week, (thats 5,460 pairs!) and used 100 reels of cotton per month AND 16,735 pounds of wool!
  • The sound department has used 50 batteries a week (54,600 in total!) and has fitted 30 new microphones and 50 new aerials each year!
  • The stage and electrics department has changed 32,432 light bulbs in the New London auditorium and used 31,367 feet of cabling!
  • The crew has replaced 8,573 seats, used 498 gallons of varnish and 49,875 posters to cover the stagefloor, AND replaced the wood for the 'star trap' six times a week!*
  • The box office has used 108,108 paper cups and 1,791720 envelopes, and has taken 43,924 headache pills (Not all at once I trust! *lol*)
  • Stage management has used one gold pen a week (for signing programmes and posters), 1,000 plastic cups a month, used even MORE headache pills than the box office (54,600!) and has distributed a total of 628,992 throat pills!**

    *The star trap is the trap door at the New London Theatre, where the Rumpus Cat appears from during "The story of the Pekes and the Pollicles".
    **I would imagine that when the show closed, there was more than one gold pen used that week!

    Taken from a UK news site:

  • Cats started its West End run in May 1981.
  • It was brought to an end exactly 21 years later, in May 2002.
  • In its 21 years, the crew replaced 6, 124 seats and used 356 gallons on varnish to cover the floor.
  • The sound department used a total of 450 microphones.
  • The wardrobe department replaced five pairs of shoes a week and sewed 3,450 costumes.
  • The stage electronics department changed 23, 166 light bulbs in the auditorium.
  • There are over 100 recorded versions of the show's biggest hit, Memory.

    Taken from

  • The opening night performance was interrupted by a bomb scare and the theatre had to be evacuated.
  • Judi Dench was meant to play Grizabella but suffered a torn Achilles tendon and Elaine Paige took over before first night.
  • Over 35 wigs are made of yak hair and there are over 250 costumes.
  • Cats is the second highest grossing musical of all time, after The Phantom Of The Opera.
  • It has been seen by more than 50 million people in 300 cities across the globe including Buenos Aires, Seoul, Helsinki and Singapore.
  • In November 1993, Cats became the first major Western musical to play Singapore and Southeast Asia.
  • The show doesn't have a plot as such, instead the cast sing lyrics based on T S Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats.


  • The BBC's Rosie Millard:- "The show was mould breaking."
  • Jeremy Austin from The Stage newspaper:- "The passing of an era almost."
  • On her part in the musical, Elaine Paige:- "It was a very lonely role."