Andrew Lloyd-Webber's 'Cats' coming back to London, complete with new rapping cat

By Daniel S Levine,

Considering the lack of success for his new shows, it makes perfect sense for Lord Andrew Lloyd-Webber to return to Cats, one of his biggest hits from the 1980s. Not only is it coming back to the London stage, but he is also updating it for a new generation with a rapping cat.

Lloyd-Webber held a press conference in London at the Palladium Monday, to announce that the show is coming back in time for Christmas, reports Theatre People. The production will be staged for eight weeks, beginning on Dec. 8.

Cats originally debuted on the West End in 1981 and ran for 21 years. Despite that success, Lloyd-Webber and director Sir Trevor Nunn decided to update it. The Telegraph reports that The Rum Tum Tugger, which was previously designed as a rock star-style character, will now become a rapper.

“He has to do hip-hop. That will be a completely new way of doing it,” Lloyd-Webber told the press. The song “Growltiger’s Last Stand” has also been completely rewritten.

“Who are we doing it for? When we started on Cats it was a show that went completely beyond any definition of a show for a particular generation. Parents loved it, grandparents loved it, kids loved it,” Nunn explained when asked why they made changes. He later added, “We shouldn’t say we have to modernise the emotion – that remains constant. But there will definitely be ingredients that will seem to be very up-to-date.”

Lloyd-Webber could use another hit on the West End. His last new show, Stephen Ward, was a flop and closed much earlier than previously planned.

image courtesy of INFphoto.com

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