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Stoffey's Eastbourne 'CATS' Trip Report

Dates and Times: Wednesday 27th August 2003, 7:30pm .
Place: Eastbourne.

Ok firstly...ADRIAN WAS ON AS MUNGOJERRIE! So yay, that made my day before I even saw it!
I popped round to the stage door before the evening show (about 5.30ish..) and happened to see Adrian with the Mungo makeup on hanging half way out of a lower window smoking....the best part was when he bent over...he had evry tight trousers on and no shirt...he has a nice...firm...bum!!! Hahahah sorry couldn't resist looking!! Or laughing for that matter.....I was giggling cause he just looked so wEird...I mean the back of the theatre was beside a tennis court with people playing.....and there were several tennis players sitting outside the stage door watching the game..with Adrian randomly sitting behind them also was like guess the odd one out hahah!! Cast Changes/Filling in for the performnace I saw:
Ok well Adrian was Mungojerrie as I said..Victoria was replaced....but I can't remember by who off the top of my head. but she was good, v. friendly (I said Hi to her at the stage door afterwards)..I think she may have been Australian..she sounded it anyway! Tantomile was also replaced ..but as I say can't remember by who until I she was changed again later!!!! So confusing!
Plus Rumpleteazer was then replaced....but I can't remember by who because I think others had to swap here and there and they didn't announce all of them! It was a shame because I loved the Rumple (the first cast Rumple I saw in the first half..) she was the best I have seen of all the Rumple's....very playful!!

Anyway the show...
I was fairly impressed with the set considering it was the tour and they have to move it everywhere in a lorry. It was the video set exactly they used the oven etc, and had the drain-pipe on stage whereas in London it was on the floor etc, I liked it but I still prefer the London set due to it being a little different, and plus I always loved the huge hanging half gutter pipe they sat on during Gus and Skimble etc..which the tour obviously didn't have. They had stairs each side of the stage so thankfully the characters could come out (although not as much as London...)

I was sitting about 8 rows from the front in an end seat which was a great view!! I could see the stage very clearly (the theatre went pretty far back so my seat was much closer to the stage than it sounds), plus I had some character interaction which is what I wanted..I mean it's one of the main reasons I love CATS so much!
I had Rumpleteazer come and rub aganst me whilst playing with my feet and grinning during the Naming, Skimble sat on the top of one of the chairs (ouch!! never saw them do that much in London though....and it really was cat I as impressed!) behind me and bent over to look at me followed by jumping right next to me suddenly and giving me a heart attack! Also had Demeter run past and look at me, hit me with her tail, and Cori flash me during the Overture...

Overture ~ Very much like the video, they had the eyes appearing around the stage etc which they did have in London but not around the actual stage, anyway it looked good...I just missed not moving!! (I was always on the revolving platform in London lol!) The music was very good and clear though...

Jellicle Songs For Jellicle Cats ~ Once again like the video in how they did it (e.g some of the characters in London sang different lines but in the tour the same characters as in the video sang the same line. etc..), but anyway they were all in time, the music was good, and I was impresesd how they all got on the stage!! The stage was the average rectangle theatre stage shape....but with the set etc it looked quite small and squashed...but it looked fine once they were all on.

Naming... Yep video style again! (they all got into the same positions in the middle like in the video before they spread out etc), but they still came into the audience which made it better.....

Solo Dance ~ Yep the Victoria I saw was great as usual...not much else to say!!

Jennyanydots ~ I LOVED how they brought the cockroaches on!!-They made the oven explode and through the steam they all came through the oven door!!! It looked great, very effective and I wasn't expecting it!

Tugger ~ Yep the guy was very good, and very lively!! He certainly liked jumping around..he did it a lot! When he came into the audience though he just sat next to a woman in an empty seat and stared at her etc...which was still funny...but the dancing is part of the fun! However I think I remember someone telling me he isn't allowed to dance with people in the tour or something? I diid miss Etcetera...but the Rumple I saw was so funny that the scream was still great!

Glamour Cat ~ Not much to say..great as ever.

Bustopher Jones ~ Funny as usual!

Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer ~ I really wasn't keen on the new music score they have for this just doesn't seem to sound right. The verses are very slow and then it suddenly speeds up at the chorus...a bit of a mess IMO! But Adrian was great (as ever hehehehe!), and the Rumple was really cute with a great little cheeky voice and a very good dancer!!

Rumpus Cat/Pekes and Pollicles ~ GREAT! Munkustrap stuck his middle finger up and swore at the Rumpus cat when he did the hairy part! It was really funny and had me in stitches! It was still good even though the Rumpus cat just came on from the back compared to jumping through the stage at London.

Jellicle Ball ~ FANTASTIC AS EVER!!! Very lively, and all the cast members were beaming away which made it even better! The flashing lights around the set were great..and man they had TONS of them everywhere!! Very colourful, and the dancing was so intense as ever that towrads the end when it really picks up speed all my hairs were standing on end and my heart racing along with the music!! I was shattered after just from watching it, I dread to think how the cast were feeling lol!!!!

1st Memory ~ Chrissie was fab with her lovely voice as usual.

Moments of Happiness ~ Emotional as ever...although that was the only part of the show when the characters were a bit squashed together on the floor lol!

Gus ~ The guy had a great voice, very believable as Gus, and really made you feel sorry and warm your heart to Gus! I like the character even more after seeing him as the part. Plus the Jellyorum was great, she looked good in the costume, had a lovely voice, and nice gestures towards gus (rubbing against him and smiling sweetly...cute!)

Growltiger/Billy McCaw ~ I REALLY enjoyed seeing Billy McCaw being performed.......such a rare thing!! Really good, and I think I actually prefer it to the Italian part that is usually in the production. The Griddlebone was great I loved her expresson and sarcastic manner as she fiddles with her nails/claws totally uninterested in Growltiger singing his heart out! Great expressions and interactions between Growltiger and Griddlebone all the way through.
Hahahah and when the whole crew etc and the Siamese were all behind him singing along sarcasticly (and looking drunk) I was in hysterics....fantastic! Skimble looked like he wanted to kill Growltiger...which was great too!! he really got way too much into the idea too!!

Skimble ~ Yep he was fantastic....., the dancing was good etc etc...!! I also liked the way he was asleep on the bars...although poor guy, that seriously must have been uncomfortale to be perched on there for so long!!

Macavity/The Fight ~ The Bombalurina had a nice voice...very deep too!! It went well with Bombalurina's personailty, so she was impressive! Singing was great, and I also liked how they put all the red lights on around the stage during the gave a nice atmosphere!
The fight was the video version.....which meant it was all Munkustrap and Macavity (except for Alonzo briefly) which I wasn't keen on because I like it when most of the toms get involved etc. It's more interesting that way, but it was still very good...

Mr.Mistoffelees ~ Guy was a very good dancer etc and a good Misto, but still not my favourite! The conjuring turn was beautifuly performed by him though, very elegent and he made it look effortless like all good dancers should be able to do! The song was performed well as usual, with loads of explosions (more than London I would say..!) My only complaint was at the start it felt like they were rushing it too much..(music wise) seemed a bit too fast and so Guy was having to do an explosion and then pretty much pick up the can two secs later...not his fault of course, but it looked too rushed! It did slow down later on though thankfully!
They used Cassandra as the it was a mirror of the video yet again. Lol I liked the way the females were all fighting each other to be picked though! Bomb pushed Cassandra out of the way, then Rumple growled and pulled her by the tail backwards, then Tant lept forawrds into the spotlight etc lol, and finally Bill Bailey had a mini fight with Cassandra before she finally got onto the drain-pipe to do the trick!

Memory 2 ~ Powerful, and moving as usual.

Heaviside Layer ~ I was plaesed to see they used the dry ice smoke! I wasn't sure they were going to at one point! Good as usual although the tire stopped half way at one was supposed to you could tell, but a little odd, still it looked good. They used the weird gold paw looking thing that is on the video instead of the plain stairs in London, which actually impressed me more in the sense that it is moe detailed and better looking! I thought it would be much easier for them to use a plain staircase as in London yeah very good!

Addressing ~ Same as usual...very good, although a lot less smoke compared with London which is a shame because it looks amazing when tons of it cascades over the sides etc....but still enough to look magical!!


Overall a copy of the video which isn't a bad thing at all, because it's very good and interesting to see the video version performed live (I mean there is nothing wrong with the video it's just how they have cut and filmed it etc which makes watching the video of it not so good..)
I really liked the improved music score too...songs like Tugger sounded more jazzy and fast than how they did in London...I liked the change for the most part...(except for in Mistoffelees, and Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer)
I was very impressed!!!!!!!!!!!! Go see it UK people if you haven't already! I know I want to go again ASAP even though that won't be for a while unfortunately!!

Cast Members to look out for.

1st Cast Rumpleteazer ~ simply an amazing and perfect Rumple, my favourite and best IMO.
Adrian swing as Mungo ~ I would say this...but he really is the best Mungo IMO!! Although I haven't seen the 1st cast Tour Mungo yet.
1st cast Skimbleshanks ~ A very charming performance of Skimble by him, and he also shows a cute playful side to Skimble as well as portraying him to be older.

Stage Door

Yes I did go, but because I had to get home (a 1 and a half hour drive) late at night I couldn't stay long and was dragged away by my mate who I took anyway lol!! Didn't get to see Adrian afterwards....nooooooooo argh I had something to give him too...guess I'll have to send it on!
I did say hello to Skimble, the woman who had played Victoria for that performance (a really lovely friendly and helpful lady), Ben Tribe, Bombalurina, and Guy Paul briefly..
I didn't get any of their autographs or photo's though because I don't really like doing that!! I just prefer to go and have a quick chat with them and say well done....which I think they actually prefer anyway and are much less hostile that way!
There was definately a nicer atmosphere around the Stage door on the tour compared to London thankfully though! I guess because there was only like 5 people outside compared with anything up to 40 odd sometimes after a show in London!
Funny Situation yes....I always manage to get this when I go to the stage door lol!! I was really cold and pretty much shaking cause I had been stood waiting for Adrian for a while and as the other cast members came out I politely asked some of them if they knew how long he would be (after congratulating them and having a chat first...otherwise that would be really rude!)
Anyway I was talking to a few of the..(Ben, the Victoria and Skimble) when I kept being phoned on my mobile literally every 5 mins by my mum and fed up friend waiting for me!! Lol they were seriously shouting at me down the phone to hurry up and threatening various torture methods if I didn't......however they didn't know just how loud they were being and I finding something funny in everything, couldn't stop laughing everytime they didn't, so I held up my phone for the cast members to hear (and a nice family also waiting who were also laughing with me about it..) and they put their ears to the phone listening to them shouting and before I knew it we were all just in stitches! Anyway...the final time they phoned me I deliberately raised my voice sarcasticly (and so they could actually hear me because the Bombaurina was seriously in hysterics almost) and said stuff like "OK well it's not my fault ADRIAN takes his time becoming human again", and then I peered into one of the dressing rooms and said "Yes Mum ADRIAN still isn't down etc in an attempt to get his attention before I was dragged away!!! I kept saying ADRIAN as often as possible as a really obvious hint whilst Ben Tribe was sitting on the fence behind me in his combats sniggering away!!! God it was soooooooooooooooo funny!
Finally I had to go..and I gave a quick wave to the remaining cast members etc there leaving them to continue having a good laugh about the whole thing!! I had sooooooooo much fun rubbng it into my friend and mum that they had caused me to be the biggest entertainment of the evening for some hahahahaah!! They were not impressed!!!