The Handbook
The Handbook

CATS is the latest Andrew Lloyd Webber musical set to be streamed straight to our sofas this weekend.

Last month, Andrew Lloyd Webber announced he’d be bringing the theatre into people’s homes during lockdown with his The Shows Must Go On YouTube screenings.

The line-up delved deep into the West End back catalogue with some shows we’d probably rather forget – Love Never Dies, Lloyd Webber’s 2010 romantic musical sequel to The Phantom of the Opera and Donny Osmond-starring Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

But it’s just been announced that one of Lloyd Webber’s best-loved (yet arguably the weirdest) musicals, CATS is next on the schedule.

From Friday 15th May, the 1999 production starring the cream of the crop of board threaders – Elaine Paige, John Partridge, Jacob Brent, Jason Gardiner and Sir John Mills – will be free to stream all weekend on YouTube for 48 hours. The online event will give diehards of the musical a chance to relive some of the tunes including Mr. Mistoffelees, Rumpleteazer and, perhaps the most famous of them all, Memory.

Although CATS has been one of the most popular West End hits of all time (in fact it is the sixth-longest running in history) it recently received some bad press thanks to Tim Hooper’s 2019 movie remake. The cast may have read like an Oscars after party guestlist with Taylor Swift, Idris Elba, Ian McKellen, Judi Dench and Jennifer Hudson, the reviews were dire. It’s worth a watch for the sheer nonsense of it all. Even James Corden, who actually stars in the film said “I haven’t seen it. I’ve heard it’s terrible.”

The musical however still holds a firm place in our hearts and while the T. S. Eliot adaptation sounds utterly weird on paper – adults pretending to be cats – it is brilliant and a must-watch for another weekend in lockdown.

Screen CATS free for 48 hours from Friday 15th May at 7pm.