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"CATS" TO CLOSE 11th MAY 2002
Official Press Release........
Cats the longest running show in the history of musical theatre around the world, will close in London on its 21st birthday on 11 May 02 after playing almost 9000 performances.
Cats, which was conceived and composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, opened at the New London Theatre on 11 May 1981 with a cast including Elaine Paige, Brian Blessed, Paul Nicholas, Wayne Sleep, Sarah Brightman and Bonnie Langford. This was the World Premiere of the show that became a theatrical legend across the globe. Since that historic First Night in 1981, when the performance was interrupted by a bomb scare and the theatre had to be evacuated, “CATS” has become the show that is generally acknowledged as the production that redefined the modern musical and proved that the British had the talent to stage and perform an original ‘Song & Dance Musical’ that rivalled the expertise and invention of the best of Broadway.
Cats also provided the catalyst for Cameron Mackintosh and Andrew Lloyd Webber to revolutionize the way musicals were put on around the world. For the past 20 years, their productions have dominated the world’s stages in all their original glory and have gone on to run longer everywhere than any other shows in musical theatre history.
Cats became London’s longest running musical on 12 May 1989 when it played its 3358th performance at the New London Theatre beating the record of 3357 performances held by “Jesus Christ Superstar”. On 29 January 1996, “CATS” in London became the longest running musical ever to play in the West End or on Broadway, when the show at the New London Theatre overtook the record of 6137 performances held by the Broadway production of “A Chorus Line”.
In London, the show has taken £136 million at nearly 9000 performances and has been seen by over eight million people. Worldwide, “CATS” has taken in excess of $2 billion and has been seen by over 50 million people. “CATS” has been performed in 11 different languages in over 300 cities in 26 countries. “Memory” has had nearly 53,000 plays on radio and television in the UK alone, and airplays in the USA passed the 1 million total in 1988 and the 2 million in 1998.
Cats, with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by T.S. Eliot, is directed by Trevor Nunn with associate direction and choreography by Gillian Lynne, design by John Napier and lighting by David Hersey.
Cats is produced by Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Theatre Company Limited.
End of press release:
With Starlight Express closing last Saturday, 12th Jan 02, the only remaining Lloyd Webber long-runner in the West End is The Phantom of the Opera, which has been playing at Her Majesty's Theatre since 9th Oct 1986.