Two of theatreland’s most popular musicals are to return to the West End. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita and Cats will both make reappearances, Evita for a limited 55 performance run and Cats for 12 weeks.
Marti Pello and Madalena Alberto will reprise their roles from the UK tour of Evita, playing Che Guevara and Eva Peron. Bill Kenwright and Bob Tomson will direct. The show will run at the Dominion Theatre following its renovation work and the closure of We Will Rock You and will open on September 22, with previews from the 16th.
Evita tells the story of Eva Peron, wife of Argentine dictator Juan Peron and follows Eva’s life journey from humble beginnings through to her iconic status of extraordinary wealth and power.
Cats will return to the West End from December, running for 12 weeks at the London Palladium. Sure to be a crowd pleaser, the musical, based on T.S Elliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, will be directed by Trevor Nunn. No casting announcement as yet; this will be made on Monday July 7, coinciding with the release of tickets.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats made its world premiere at the West End’s New London Theatre in 1981, playing there for a record breaking 21 years before embarking on a hugely successful tour.
The production was named Best Musical at the Olivier awards, while the Broadway version won seven Tony’s.
Cats has an enormous fan base. There are those who have seen it once or twice who will be thrilled by its return, and those who are true Cats obsessives, who will be proud to say they are on their 6ooth viewing.
As for me…well, I’m not a huge fan of the show though I love the music. I have massive problems with humans portraying animals on stage as I’ve said many times before. I much prefer Evita. Once again, the music is stunning but then both shows are Lloyd Webber, so it’s hardly too much of a surprise.
I just find the news about both shows returning a little bit deflating, really. The West End seems so tired right now. It needs new life injected into it. Broadway is strong at present; I really think some of their shows could thrive on a West End transfer and yes, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, I’m looking at you.
Theatre is organic, one must live it to really appreciate it and I just don’t see how that can really be achievable when all we’re getting is tired shows being revived. There are so many great classics out there, why not give some of these a much longed for revival, or better yet, why not open something new? Now there’s a shocking thought. Something new that is also good, I should say, since we all know how I Can’t Sing turned out.
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