Date and Time: Saturday November 8th 2003, 7.30pm
Place: New Victoria Theatre, Woking.
Met up with my friend Maria on Saturday night to go to Cats in Woking. I knew there'd be loads of understudies on that night, so I was gearing myself up to listen so I didnt have to ask the steward all the names at the interval. We got there with loads of time to spare, collected the tickets, got refreshments, then found the entrance to the stalls door.
By 7:15pm they still hadnt opened the doors, due to "technical difficulties" - doors finally opened at 7:25pm but the show itself didnt start till 7:50pm! x.x
I was sort of bouncing around in the second row (*wink*) talking to Maria and filling her in with all sorts of Cats knowledge when the lights dimmed and the announcement over the tannoy came, filling us in with the understudies playing that night. Imagine to my surprise to hear Rosemarie Ford was on as Bombalurina! O.O And everyone around us was whispering, "Rosemarie Ford?" - everyone was kinda excited, lol. No doubt she was the "technical difficulty."
Anyway, I had to ask the steward - who was very kind and helpful - to write down all the names for me of the understudies. So here's the understudies list:
Bombalurina: Rosemarie Ford
Coricopat/Carbucketty: Tommi Sliiden
Rumpleteazer: Kate Tydman
Mistoffelees: Paul Farrell
Gumbie Cat/Jennyanydots: Sally Whitehead
Jemima: Summer Strallen
Cassandra: Karen Williams
Mungojerrie: Adrian Edmeades
Stori James was also on, he was covering all other parts. There was no Tantomile, and no Bill Bailey.
Jellicle Songs For Jellicle Cats
Didn't have any cats come out near us. For the most part JSFJC was quite ordinary - unless you count Gus popping up the lid of a old saucepan when he appeared, and making everyone laugh. Blinked twice at Stori (I think it was him) because the swing costume they had for him involved makeup and a wig like Bill Bailey, but the actual body costume was definitely that of Alonzo. I also expect Adrian as Mungojerrie had fun on Saturday night - he was on the trapeze, lucky sod.
The Naming Of Cats
The steward said at the interval they needed more characters onstage and were desparate for actors. I can imagine - there was about 15 onstage on Saturday night. Smallest cast I've ever seen. Coricopat came down off the stage and went behind our seats, but Misto (Paul Farrell) stayed onstage our side and gazed at us while saying the naming.
Invitation To The Jellicle Ball
Pfft.... Victoria lifted her leg, did her solo, and Misto came down to dance with her. Enough said. =p
The Old Gumbie Cat
Got my first real good glimpse of Rosemarie as Bombalurina here. She looked exactly the way she did in the video, right down to the makeup and warmers. Sally was great as the Gumbie Cat - even though she had noticably less cockroaches to control, the routine still looked pretty good. She was funny too that night because she kept making little noises when Munkustrap was stroking her tail! Oh and probably because Rosemarie wasnt up to it, only Demeter and Jellylorum came out to dance with the rest at the end. The Rum Tum Tugger
Okay, so we had the loud meow, then Tugger appeared, ripping the shirt but then appearing up the back. He ran over to the car boot, stood on there, and came down to tease Demeter and Victoria before kicking the ball (which WAS neon pink and fluffy, I was right) over the back and narrowly missing Munkustrap at the back. Cassandra promptly fainted into Alonzo's arms at the point where he did a hip thrust at her (lol) and Misto came out to do the "The Tugger is a terrible bore" - and Tugger actually kissed him smack on the mouth! You could hear it for miles, lmao. We had Tugger over our side of the stage a lot, so we got a prominent view of his - uh - package, shall we say. ;) It all went fine up (even Rosemarie's part with Tugger was great) until he came down off the stage, and then he went and laid down over some people in the fourth row, where they're unprotected (there's no seats in front of the row here) and just stayed there for a few minutes. Then he raced back up onstage, did the rest of the dance, and when it came to the end of the song, Cassandra was sitting front left, with Jemima, Victoria, and Rumpleteazer - and she put her nose RIGHT up close to Tugger's package, sniffing it!! O.O Me and Maria promptly got the giggles, because she kept doing it the whole way through - until Teazer started screaming, and Tugger removed his attention from Cassi enough to stick his tail in Rumple's mouth. :)
Grizabella, The Glamour Cat
Hey, Chrissie crawled onto the stage too! O.O I didnt know Grizabella always crawled on. Marvellous as usual, I love her voice. :) Rosemarie and Barbara made the song a powerful duet, too, best I've prolly seen on the tour so far.
*giggles* Oh I love this scene. Bustopher's so funny, and when he intitially comes out everyone's like, "oh god"..hehe. What tickled me during the performance was Stori, as Bill/Carbucketty mucking about by himself, getting told off by Skimble, then getting comforted by Skimble too. :) Oh and Skimble running around sorting out all the kittens and making them line up properly, neatly.
Mungojerrie & Rumpleteazer
Pretty much the same as ever, though I missed the usual Rumpleteazer players - Kate Tydman's not cut out to play that part, it doesnt suit her. Adrian was, of course, the usual cheeky chappie, he could carry the performance by himself. ;)
This was fine up until Munkustrap and Tugger were singing together, when I noticed Bill/Carby was nuzzling Jemima, and she stroked his head then whacked him one. I nearly fell out of my seat giggling at the look on his face!
The Aweful Battle Of The Pekes & Pollicles
There was a lot going on here. For a start, Tugger was Tugger and came down to take the p*** out of Munkustrap, then walked off whistling as per usual. The rest of the routine was smooth until they all went to start barking at each other, and Cassandra, who was right on the edge of the stage near us, pulled out this yellow toothbrush and brandished it a bit fiercely at the other 'dogs' lol. Couple with that the whole thing with Rumpus not appearing on time and you've got a riot on your paws. ;)
The whole audience just laughed at Rumpus - he was hilarious! More concerned about his hair than anything else! I also realised how he makes his hair stand up - theres a pull cord on the costume, I saw him working it several times. In any case, the look on Munkustrap's face was priceless.
The Jellicle Ball
There were less dancers, but the stage looked full, as if they had about 30 actors onstage. Rosemarie was flawless in her solo, as Bombalurina, I enjoyed watching her throughout - she was also being 'attentive' to Tugger after he carried her off. ;) Tugger was also teasing Jemima with hip thrusts and then he got some attention from Vicki and Rumple (he was shaking quite badly, let me tell you) but for the mating dance though, he chose Demeter (aww) and really that was that. I'd say more but I've written about it all before, but they all seem to dance for so long! It seems like you're watching the dance last all night. :)
Chrissie = marvellous. That's all I've got to say. :)
Interval~Got our programmes signed by Old Deuteronomy. The usher on the stairs tried to tell us it was only kids allowed, the nerve, but my nice steward (the one I ended up getting the understudy info from) got that sorted and said we could go up.
The Moments Of Happiness
Coricopat and Cassi came out to do a lap or two of the stage, and all of a sudden there was this shriek of laughter. Turning round all I saw was Munkustrap behind a pillar to the right of the audience, and a very embarrassed bald guy. x.x Must've been funny, whatever it was. :)
When all the cats got out onstage, Mungojerrie poked his head into the rubbish at the front of the stage, and came out wearing a paint pot on his head, lol. Rumpleteazer had to help him get it off, the silly sod.
Gus The Theatre Cat
I'm warming to Gus still. I still prefer this part live to the video, always will do. Uhmm...not a lot to say here really, except that Gus's 'bloodcurdling noises' are getting worse....x.x
Growltiger's Last Stand/The Ballad Of Billy McCaw
Love the pirates, who this time around were Skimble, Misto, Munkustrap, Alonzo and Tugger. :) Favourite part of Growltiger beating them up is when he stamps on Tugger's foot!
Griddle was just as funny as ever. She yawned her way through Growltiger's song, and looked perplexed completely when he started talking about parrots, as if to say "this is a romantic serenade?!?" She took over in the end though, and paid a lot of attention to Skimble when Growly wasnt looking. The siamese didnt sing along, but you could clearly see them bobbing about. :)
After Billy McCaw was finished, Coricopat came down as the lead Siamese - Growly did something different, he walked behind the wheel, spun it, then walked the plank...in the other performances I've seen he is chased up the car boot and offstage. The Siamese that were left did a very good dance routine to finish, and yeah, good stuff. :)
When we came back to Gus reminscing, he walked off alone, without Jellylorum following him. If you looked at the other cats, there were noticably less on the stage, than before - normally they all slide back to place when they've finished costume changing.
Skimbleshanks The Railway Cat
Matthew Gould, I love you. *big grin* I just love the vigour he puts into the character. He's got so much energy, leaping and bounding everywhere. Great stuff. :) It was funny during this, Tugger was being stupid and mucking around with Demeter at the back, while Munkustrap was sitting inbetween Deut's legs (o.o) and bouncing around in a circle with the music. *grin* Oh and Misto decided to shine the light for the train right in Maria's eyes, how nice of him...
Finally, my chance to see Rosemarie REALLY do her stuff alongside Barbara King! While I'm still not fond of Barbara playing Demeter, and I dont like her voice at all for the part, Rosemarie was marvellous. She was exactly as you see it in the video, the same gestures, everything down pat. If you didnt know better you'd think she'd been onstage in CATS for the last 6 years as well. Emma Tunmore should take notes. *nods*
Okay, I was interested to see what Paul Farrell would bring to this performance of Mistoffelees, just because it was new and different, I've always seen Guy-Paul.
I wasnt disappointed, but the song was basically...well..not flat, just ordinary. Though I counted 22 magical turns, if that's any help. At least Paul didnt ruin the role. And...yeah, I dont know what else to say here - except for the obvious thing, that Cassi was his assistant, blah blah. :)
It was Chrissie at her finest. I swear every time I hear her sing her voice gets more powerful. One day she really will blow me out of my seat (and as many will tell you, thats not easy ;)) Summer as Jemima was a nice change. She's got the right voice for Jemima, so I think it was a good choice they swapped her into the role for a bit - but I'm still more fond of her as Cassandra.
Ascension To The Heaviside Layer/The Addressing Of Cats
Basically the same as ever, what can you say that hasnt already been said? I'll cut in though to add the end applause - for obvious reasons, Rosemarie got the biggest applause! She seemed really shy about coming on, she took forever, but when she did the audience cheered her *grins* Yeah, she looked pretty happy about it!
And if I had stage door stuff to report I would...but I dont have any stories - didnt get to wait around since it was like 11pm and I had a headache. Maybe next time. ;)