CATS: A WHO’S WHO GUIDE!

As one of the longest-running shows in history, it’s surprising that it’s taken until now to make it into ODEON cinemas. Not only was it created by the king of musicals, Andrew Lloyd Webber, but it’s also based on beloved poems by T. S. Eliot.

Here, we meet the fabulous felines at the movie’s all-singing/all-dancing heart...

Grizabella (Jennifer Hudson)

 

Famously played on stage by Elaine Paige, here the worse-for-wear Glamour Cat is brought to life by musical regular Jennifer Hudson.

Be ready for some belting numbers, gravity-defying high notes and maybe the odd chair turn from the famous singer and judge of The Voice.


Old Deuteronomy (Judi Dench)

 

Known for being played by the likes of Ken Page and Brian Blessed, there’ll be no screaming of ‘Gordon’s alive!’ in this version.

If you are asking why Dench, well, why not? She’s a national treasure after all, and one of the finest actors of this or any other era. She can also sing like a lark. Deuteronomy is ‘the big cat on campus’ who leads the cats in their Jellicle Ball, making it only fitting the character is played by a great dame.


Macavity (Idris Elba)

 

Mystery Cat, Macavity (also known as the Hidden Paw), fills the villain part in the stage musical, which depicts him with wild orange hair. He most notably kidnaps Old Deuteronomy halfway through the show.

Whether this will be the case in the film, we’ll have to see. But being played by Elba, who sports piercing green eyes and a gangster-like aesthetic, he’s sure to have a front-and-centre role.


Bombalurina (Taylor Swift)

 

Though the name might sound like something out of a novelty sweet shop, Bombalurina is a key character in Lloyd Webber’s musical.

She is known for singing ‘Macavity The Mystery Cat’ and being mean to Grizabella, suggesting the two have ‘bad blood’. (Geddit?!) Rumoured to have several songs, including an exclusive track written by alter-ego Swift and musical creator Lloyd Webber, expect to see – and hear – a lot of this feisty fan favourite.


Rum Tum Tugger (Jason Derulo)

 

How do we sum up old Rum Tum? Well his self-titled song describes him as a both a curious cat and a ‘beast’.

Played on stage and in the direct-to-video adaptation by John Partridge, better known as Christian Clarke in EastEnders, here he’s brought to life by singer Jason Derulo, who’s definitely not ‘Ridin’ Solo’ as he flirts and struts his way through proceedings. Extreme swag expected.


Victoria and Mr. Mistoffelees (Francesca Hayward and Laurie Davidson)

 

While they don’t play huge roles in the original stage version, at least speech wise, the trailer seems to suggest the elegant ballerina and the ‘original Conjuring Cat’ will be our eyes into the world of all things Jellicle, including the Ball.

The event sees the cats choose one of their own to ascend to the Heaviside Layer and be reborn. Sort of like when you have a really nice bath and come out nice and fresh. But we all know cats don’t like water, so reincarnation will have to do.


Gus the Theatre Cat, Bustopher Jones and Jennyanydots (Ian McKellen, James Corden and Rebel Wilson)

 

When securing the Cats cast, the filmmakers’ seemingly had two objectives: one, as A-list as possible; two, must have musical experience.

They ticked those two boxes and then some with Ian McKellen, James Corden and Rebel Wilson, who play Gus the Theatre Cat, Bustopher Jones and Jennyanydots respectively.

All three get their own songs in this movie, so expect to have your socks blown off once more. Incidentally, Jennyanydots is known as The Gumbie Cat, Bustopher Jones is a posh fat cat, while poor old Gus has seen better days.


Cats – in ODEON cinemas from 20 December.

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