WOW!'s current show “CATS” runs from 12-17 February 2018.
Monday 12th to Saturday 17th February 2018. Witham Public Hall, Collingwood Road, Witham CM8 2DY. Performances nightly at 7:30pm, Saturday matinee 2:30pm. Doors open 30 minutes before curtain up (No admission before 2pm or 7pm).
Based on T.S. Eliot’s whimsical collection of poems, “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats”, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s iconic musical brings together a tribe of Jellicle Cats on a moonlit evening, who must make the “Jellicle choice” to decide which of them will ascend to the mysterious Heaviside Layer to be reborn.
Featuring such celebrated standards as the haunting “Memory”, CATS became an international phenomenon. The show first appeared on the London stage in 1981 and went on to become the longest running musical both in the West End and on Broadway. A magical, moving, and often hilarious glimpse into the lives of others, CATS takes Eliot’s lyrical poetry and puts it into the mouths of a diverse company of singing, dancing felines.
Tickets for CATS have now SOLD OUT and our competition has closed. We're very sorry if you have missed the chance to see the show. Our Box Office Manager is maintaining a waiting list so you could contact her on 0300 201 0080 or email@example.com or click here to view our online booking system just in case. If you would like to be included on our mailing list for future shows click here or you can follow WOW! on Facebook or Twitter for regular updates.
Review by WAOS Chairman, Stewart Adkins (A seasoned reviewer although possibly a little biased?)
A feline phenomenon! Setting a bunch of poems about cats to music and creating a musical! How unlikely is that? And yet the WOW! production of CATS is visually and aurally stunning. Without benefit of plot (what there is requires a fairly deep understanding of the poetry to make much sense of it first time around) what makes this hang together as a show, in my opinion, is the great teamworking and the seamless flow from one number to the other. In many cases a character steps forward and makes reference to another character, passing the musical baton along as the show progresses. Equally important is the maintenance of some form of characterisation for each individual, so that we can see activity and interaction wherever we look. Of course there are times when everyone is following the same choreography as taught but at other times the stroking and stretching is individual creating interest and maintaining audience attention. The quality of singing is outstanding for any group but particularly for a youth group, where the common fault is usually the absence of a head voice. Not so here; close your eyes and this could be a top notch choir. Open them again and be amazed at the ability to climb such vocal heights whilst moving in the most original and energetic fashion. The principals are superb giving no clue to their relative youth and inexperience. Make-up, costume, lighting and sound fool the senses into believing that we are not just curious onlookers but part of the action. The festoon lights above us and the use of the auditorium for some entries draw us in and help that effect. Make no mistake, WOW! has made a little piece of musical theatre history here, which all participants, onstage and off, will remember and treasure for a very long time.
Theatrelife Review by Nikki Mundell-Poole (theatrelife.org)
Cats was a London phenomenon running for over 21 years in London’s West End along with a national tour. Only to recently be revived in 2014 at the London Palladium. So it’s quite a challenge for any amateur society to tackle this dance based musical but WOW! have and the challenge has paid off.
The set was great along with some fantastic lighting and both were a perfect backdrop for some stunning costumes and wigs. In addition, the excellent make up helped capture the characters, especially as each one is completely different giving lots of opportunities for cast members to express themselves.
There were so many outstanding performances it’s difficult to know where to start but I loved Lily Downes as Jennyanydots – her boundless energy and lovable personality shone through, Ben Collins as Rum Tum Tugger had all the moves and delivered some great numbers and both Daisy Greenwood as Demeter and Yasmin Sharp as Bombalurina both oozed style and confidence delivering some great routines and vocals.
Tom Nicholl had huge stage presence as Old Deuteronomy both in stature and delivery and Fraser Mclauchlan as Skimbleshanks delivered his number with great panache and was one of the few who I felt really embraced the cat movement and posture. Cerys Wilkin was delightful as the banished Grizabella, she has an amazing voice and her final performance of ‘Memory’ was very moving. Munkestrap played by Christopher Tierney was the glue throughout the show holding it all together and Ryan Wuyts was delightful as Gus, the Theatre Cat with just the right amount of pathos and charm along with Isobel Pearce as Jellylorum who was also very engaging.
There were so many other great performances with such a strong cast from William Hackett as Bustopher Jones all the way through to Ciaran Brewer as the Rumpus Cat.
One name to watch out for in the future is definitely Ella Bradley as Jemima – she was delectable as the young kitten with a beautiful voice.
The list of names could go on and on, as there were so many lovely moments throughout the show and the choreography was just at the right level to ensure a high standard throughout.
Huge congratulations to the cast for a great show, I’d say you have to get tickets to see this but if you haven’t already got them then you will miss out on a fantastic nights entertainment as the show is already a sell out!