When I read that the British touring company of Cats was coming to Belgium, I kept checking the website of the newly renovated Elizabeth theater in Antwerp. I didn’t want to miss getting tickets for this show, and as the show was only in town for 3 weeks, I made sure to get my tickets on the first day they were released. The fact that it’s the British company was a plus for me since, here in Belgium, they have a habit of translating musicals and the songs become a monstrosity. They have done this with musicals like Mamma Mia and when we all know the ABBA songs, you can’t sing any of them along because of this translation.
The renovated Elizabeth theatre is very pretty, although it was little chilly in the auditorium. I think this is because during the show the actors use the doors to the room to exit or enter and this means they open and let in cool air.
Even though there are songs that are happy and upbeat the actually a very sad story. It does take a while to understand what’s going on because the bulk of the show is the introduction of all the different cats that have main roles. In between those introductions, the scene is set but even after seeing the show the whole reasoning is for me still not 100% clear. I think it has to do with the nine lives of the cats and once they get at the end of their final life they get a trip to heaven. Like I said, still confusing for me.
It was funny to see how the actors really got into their roles of cats. In what seemed unobserved moments they would be cleaning themselves like a cat would do.
Before going to the show, I only knew the song “Memory” and I still feel that it’s a goosebump-raising song, even more now than I did before since I have an idea what it’s actually about now.
All the actors sang fantastically and I do not regret not getting a seat at an aisle because during the songs where they took over the whole room and ran through the auditorium I had the instinct that I wanted to pet them like they were real cats. I think everyone who goes to this show picks a favorite cat, I can’t say which is mine since she was not introduced and is thus not one of the main characters.
The only thing that I felt about this musical is how the eighties it is. But I think it is one of those must-see shows for any musical lover out there.