Singing, dancing, backflips, pyrotechnics and tails.
To say I was blown away by the Millennium Forum Youth production of Cats on Wednesday evening would be an understatement.
I’ve admitted many times before that I’m not the biggest fan of musicals, but I’m willing to go in with an open mind, and give any show a try.
Although Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats is world famous, I wasn’t familiar with the story.
But the 40-strong cast burst onto the stage, and grasped my attention from the get go.
The set, the costumes and the talent of every cast member were exceptional, and honestly, you would struggle to find better in a touring production.
The show was so well polished, and the cast so multi-talented that my friend didn’t actually realise that it was a youth production until I informed her during the interval.
This is the 12th year of the Forum’s Youth project, which works with young people from across the north west to stage a musical production.
It’s no surprise that some former members of the project have gone on to successful careers in the arts and entertainment world, as I have no doubt that the cast members of this production of Cats are destined for stardom.
For those unfamiliar with Cats, it is inspired by T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, and the fascinating story unfolds in a junkyard playground.
The Jellicle Cats come out to play on one extraordinary night of the year, at the Jellicle Ball.
Individually, they recount their stories to entertain Old Deuteronomy, their sage and benevolent chief, who must ultimately elect one of the Cats to ascend to The Heaviside Layer and be restored into an entirely new Jellicle life.
It would be difficult to pin point just one stand out performance in Cats, but Eireann Hickey’s rendition of Memories in the second act gave me goosebumps.
Thorin Coffey also captivated the audience as he took on the role of Rum Tug Tugger.
One of my favourite songs from the show was the ‘Magical Mr. Mistoffelees,’ which saw Amy Kilgore amaze the crowds with her dancing and pyrotechnics!
The Millennium Forum Youth production of ‘Cats’ runs tonight, Friday, July 27, and tomorrow, Saturday, July 28 in the Forum, and tickets are still available from the Box Office on 028 71 264455 or millenniumforum.co.uk
It really is a show not to be missed!