Last night (11 December 2014) at the London Palladium Nicole Scherzinger made her theatrical stage debut as Grizabella in the musical Cats as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s record-breaking show returned to the West End for a limited run. Based on T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, the original creative team – director Trevor Nunn, associate director and choreographer Gillian Lynne, designer John Napier and composer Andrew Lloyd Webber – were reunited to bring Cats back to the West End this Christmas.
Cats, one of the longest-running shows in West End and on Broadway, received its world premiere at the New London Theatre in 1981 where it played for 21 record-breaking years and almost 9,000 performances. The production was the winner of the Olivier and Evening Standard Awards for Best Musical. In 1983 the Broadway production became the recipient of seven Tony awards including Best Musical, and ran for 18 years. Since its world premiere, Cats has been presented in over 30 countries, has been translated into ten languages and has been seen by more than 50 million people worldwide. Both the original London and Broadway cast recordings won Grammy Awards for Best Cast Album. The Lloyd Webber score includes ‘Memory‘ which has been recorded by over 150 artists from Barbra Streisand and Johnny Mathis to Liberace and Barry Manilow.
The West End cast comprises: Cameron Ball (Macavity/Admetus), Kathryn Barnes (Tantomile), Cassie Clare (Cassandra), Ross Finnie (Skimbleshanks), Charlene Ford (Bombalurina), Stevie Hutchinson (Pouncival), Adam Lake (Alonzo), Paul F Monaghan (Bustopher Jones/Asparagus/Growl Tiger), Joel Morris (Carbucketty), Natasha Mould (Jemima), Benjamin Mundy (Coricopat), Antoine Murray-Straughan (Rum Tum Tugger), Joseph Poulton (Quaxo/Mistoffelees), Nicholas Pound (Old Deuteronomy), Sophia Ragavelas (alternate Grizabella), Clare Rickard (Jellylorum/ Griddlebone), Adam Salter (Bill Bailey), Laurie Scarth (Jennyanydots), Nicole Scherzinger (Grizabella), Hannah Kenna Thomas (Victoria/White Cat), Callum Train (Munkustrap), Zizi Strallen (Demeter), Dawn Williams (Rumpleteazer) and Benjamin Yates (Mungojerrie) who are joined by swings Ryan Gover, Barry Haywood, Alice Jane, Grace McKee, Dane Quixall and Libby Watts.
American recording artist Nicole Scherzinger studied theatre and dance at the Wright State University in Ohio. In 2003 she joined the Pussycat Dolls who have sold 50 million records worldwide, making them one of the best-selling girl groups of all time. She has subsequently gone on to enjoy success as a solo artist, selling 16 million records and having number one singles in the UK. In 2011 she joined the UK version of the X Factor as a judge.
Images below by Dan Wooller picture Nicole Scherzinger as Grizabella, the actress with composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, original Grizabella Elaine Paige and director Trevor Nunn.