Review: CATS; Stage Door Youth Theatre

The cast of CATS, presented by Stage Door Youth Theatre. (s)

The cast of CATS, presented by Stage Door Youth Theatre. (s)

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With a leap and flurry of feline ferocity and adorable fluffiness in equal measure, Stage Door Youth Theatre brought the youth group production of CATS to The Muni in Colne.

Attending on the first night, a packed theatre anticipated a spectacular evening; they were not disappointed.

The genius of Andrew Lloyd Webber lifts the lyrical poetry of Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot with complementary melodies and harmonies, seducing with an array of pussy cat frolics and often sad tales that play out on stage.

Forty-one young people adorned the striking back-alley set which was – a backdrop of evocative simplicity that worked incredibly well.

Stunning lighting danced around the stage illuminating every movement, lighting the delicious costumes and make-up and producing shadows of a possible hidden menace.

As with previous Stage Door shows, CATS continued the high standard of costume and character. The recognisable expertise of director Janet Philbrook and choreographer Helen Cheung was evident throughout, as was the children’s ability to lift the melodies as high and as beautiful as a grand jeté. From the oldest performer to the very youngest child on stage, not for one minute did one doubt absolute dedication to the production.

There were some truly magical solo performances, yet the hard work and gusto of the ensemble numbers also shone; engaging the audience and bringing a smile or a tear.

I have no doubt that every audience member took something home that evening, be it a song that resonated and lingered in the mind, or the beauty and grace of the dancing, or perhaps the set that supported the rainbow of costumes, or the enthusiasm and dedication to detail by each cast member. Stage Door Youth Theatre’s CATS will stay in my memory for a very long time.