Today the Producers of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s CATS announced that SOPHIA RAGAVELAS will star in the acclaimed West End revival production of CATS when it plays in New Zealand for a strictly limited season from Friday 11 September. Sophia will play the coveted role of Grizabella and sing Memory, one of the most well-known songs of all time.

UK born Sophia Ragavelas has recently played Grizabella on an extensive UK tour. Prior to that, her highly applauded theatre credits include major roles in Calamity Jane, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Witches of Eastwick, Les Miserables, Mamma Mia and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

CATS, one of the longest running shows in the West End and on Broadway, received its world premiere at the New London Theatre in 1981 where it played for 21 record-breaking years and almost 9,000 performances. The production was the winner of the Olivier and Evening Standard Awards for Best Musical. In 1983 the Broadway production became the recipient of seven Tony Awards including Best Musical and ran for 18 years. Since its world premiere, CATS has been presented in over 30 countries, has been translated into 15 languages and has been seen by over 73 million people worldwide. Both the original London and Broadway cast recordings won Grammy Awards for Best Cast Album. The classic Lloyd Webber score includes Memory, which has been recorded by over 150 artists, from Barbra Streisand and Johnny Mathis to Liberace and Barry Manilow.

The 2015 Olivier Award-nominated show, which was reworked by the original creative team – Director Trevor Nunn, Associate Director and Choreographer Gillian Lynne, Designer John Napier and Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber – was a smash hit throughout its run at the London Palladium in 2014/15. Nicole Scherzinger and then Kerry Ellis played the role of Grizabella during its sell-out West End season.

Joining Sophia on stage as feline favourites from T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats will be Amy Berrisford (Demeter), Madeline Cain (swing), Emma Delmenico (Resident Choreographer/swing), Dominique Hamilton (Rumpleteazer), Ashleigh Hauschild (Tantomile), Jade Hui-Wen Coutts (Victoria/The White Cat), Erin James (swing), Emily Keane (Cassandra), Sarah Landy (Bombalurina), Bree Langridge (swing), Holly Meegan (Jennyanydots), Samantha Morley (Jellylorum/Griddlebone), and Stephanie Silcock (Jemima).

The male cats will be played by Daniel Assetta (Rum Tum Tugger), James Cooper (Admetus/Macavity/Dance Captain), Andrew Dunne (swing), Matt Edwards (swing), Christopher Favaloro (Mr Mistoffelees), Keanu Gonzalez (Alonzo/Rumpus Cat), Ross Hannaford (Skimbleshanks), Sam Hooper (swing), Thomas Johansson (Pouncival), Tobias Madden (Carbucketty), Matt McFarlane (Munkustrap), Stephen Morgante (Resident Director/swing), Brent Osborne (Mungojerrie), Josh Piterman (Bustopher Jones/Gus/Growltiger), Taylor Scanlan (Bill Bailey), Jason Wasley (Old Deuteronomy), and Patrick Whitbread (Coricopat).

This hit revival introduces a rapping ‘street cat’ in the famous Rum Tum Tugger role, who will perform some serious breakdancing moves.