By Gillian Lynne

Cats Re-born

Cats are tribal animals and because of its very nature Cats has always been important to the tribe of dancer/singers who have graced the show’s brilliant John Napier Rubbish-Dump over the years. Important because as one of the very first through-danced shows (certainly the first English one) it is physically and mentally demanding and that always ties people together forever.

I know that every cast member that ever danced my craziness with its difficult classical, yet pagan, requirements is part of ‘my tribe’ – and I am proud of each and every one of them. Some have gone to the heavy side layer far too early while others have given up altogether but that never changes the fact that we all danced Cats – me included. I created my work on Cats originally when I was 54! So it is no wonder I have lost a few of my nine lives. In having the chance to re-visit the work and to submerge myself again into Andrew’s unusual, and oh so beautiful, music and T S Eliot’s words and characters, I feel re-born again.

When I watch our cast sing and dance – my tribal pride almost bursts – probably because much of my original work from 34 years ago seems to remain fresh. Trevor Nunn and I were always certain about the characters and we were always true to their storyline. But there is huge reliance on the dance keeping the story alive – and somehow that becomes its heartbeat. We care about these cats and that remains our purpose in updating this show for a new generation while at the same time maintaining Cats as the blockbuster it has always been.

– By Gillian Lynne