IT’S a feast of felines!

One of the longest running shows in West End and Broadway history, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s smash hit musical Cats returns to The Mayflower for two weeks from Tuesday.

Adapted from TS Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, this blend of fantasy, drama and romance is set on the night that the Jellicle Cats meet for the Jellicle Ball, where Old Deuteronomy, their wise and benevolent leader, makes the Jellicle choice and announces which of them will go up to the heaviside layer and be reborn into a whole new Jellicle life.

The timeless hit Memory is included in this sparkling fusion of music, dance and verse.

Producer David Ian said: “It’s a classic, first seen in 1981 and is up there with Phantom, Starlight and Miss Saigon as the longest running musicals. It’s been seen by 50 million people in 300 cities and performed in ten different languages. They’re interesting statistics!

“The original staging and choreography is so iconic and that’s what people come to see, so I’m aware of not tinkering too much. That is what people from across the world come to see, it’s a phenomenon. My job as a producer is to retain that same quality – or make it even better – than it was in the West End.

“In terms of casting, I am certainly finding that vocally, the artists are more and more developed than years ago. They can sing, dance and act. That’s definitely improved over the years and we’re seeing some great people coming in to Cats. I’d put that down to programmes like Glee and Smash. There’s much more interest in musical theatre and that can only be a good thing.

“Cats is definitely an ensemble piece and although many – Elaine Paige, Wayne Sleep, Bonnie Langford – went on to become stars, as a producer, if I’ve got Andrew Lloyd Webber, TS Eliot and Cats on my poster, I’ve got enough for a bit hit!”

  • Cats is at The Mayflower, Southampton, until Saturday, June 22.