Cats - December 2, 2006 (Göteborgsoperan, Gothenburg)


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Cast:
Munkustrap - Niklas Andersson
Grizabella - Evelyn Jons
Rum-Tum-Tugger - Patrik Martinsson
Gus/Growltiger - Per Myrberg
Profetikus - Hans Josefsson
Demeter - Lisette Pagler
Bombalurina - Karolina Krigsman
Jellylorum/Griddlebone - Nina Norblad
George/Skimbleshanks - Glenn Nilsson
Bustopher Jones - Sten Pernmyr
Jennyanydots - Marianne Schell
Bill Bailey/Mungojerrie - Alexander Larsson
Sillabub/Rumpleteazer - Anna Werner
Mr Mistoffelees - Franky Lorenzo
Quaxo/Macavity - Oscar Lindén
Jemima - Elin Bemark
Victoria - Hanna Linné
Tantomile - Katja Kortström
Coricopat - Mattias Andersson
Pouncival - Timo Lattu
Admetus - Pierre Hagman
Garbo - Mari Lindbäck
Ramses - Sven Törnell
Moses - Mikael Simlund
Etcetera - Lena Näslund
Savannah - Linda Holmgren
Isis - Mio Netzler
Tumblebrutus - Ivan Valencia
Exotica - Kitty Chan
Victor - Tim Liljequist
Plato - Anders Wängdahl
Electra - Sara Sandgren
Agustus - Edvin Karlsson
Cassandra/Slim - Sofie Bengtsson
Shakespeare - Göthe Norehäll
Tintomara - Ingahlill Wagelin

On December 2, 2006, I went to see Cats at the opera in Gothenburg (Sweden). I had seen the video version from 1998 once or twice before that, and had also been listening to an old recording. But I can’t say I was terribly familiar with this musical, and this was also the first time I heard it in Swedish. But I was very excited to go see it! I had heard such great things about it, both from regular fans and from the critics, and pretty much everyone seems to love it! I’ve even heard one critic saying this was the best Cats production ever! So of course I had high expectations of it. But I was not disappointed one bit! It was an amazing production, and I would LOVE to see it again! (although since the tickets have been sold out a long time now, it doesn’t really seem likely that I will).

I love the set/decorations! The stage looked amazing! I believe this is the first production EVER where they have been allowed to do their own version of the musical, and it’s really obvious when you look at the set that this is not the regular “old” version of Cats!

Instead it takes place on an amusement park during the winter season (when it‘s closed to the public). Very suitable of course, since Gothenburg is well known for it’s amusement part Liseberg. I thought it was really cool how they could make the set look different and new so many times, by doing very small alterations - often simply in colour and lightning.

There were some cool surprises here! I especially loved the introduction of Skimbleshanks - the Railway Cat. Suddenly you here the noise of roller coaster - and you can see (against the stage wall) how a roller coaster is moving - simply by the movement of a green light. Then suddenly the roller coaster appears on stage! Very unexpected, and very cool! It didn’t really seem able to move (or at least not move in the right direction) on its own, so poor Munkustrap and Rum-Tum-Tugger had to push it around on the stage. Probably not that bad at first, but with the entire cat ensemble sitting in it, it must have been really heavy for them!

Also, the ending with Grizabella ascending to a new life was made special, by Munkustrap and Rum-Tum-Tugger? escorting her to a Ferris Wheel, and as she gets on it, it starts to move, and she slowly ascends, and disappears out of sight…..a memorable moment, that’s for sure!

Mungojerrie and Rumplteazer also get a fun start to their song - they sit down in a big “teacup” (like they have at amusement parks), and start it! It goes well for a little while, then part of it opens, and they tumble down to the ground - and start singing!

Of the performers the person who impressed me the most was Niklas Andersson, who as Munkustrap got to show a real skill for acting, along with a perfect voice for the part! He really became the part 100%.

As Munkustrap appears to be the leader of the Jellicle cats, and also at times the narrator, he ends up being a very important character. He rarely has a complete song to sing, but he appears on stage pretty much all the time, and he really sets the mood for the entire show during the “Invitation to the Jellicle Ball” with lots of energy, and then continues in “The Old Gumbie Cat”, making it a really funny and sweet song. Also the dog-fight scene is great - Niklas really gets to show his comedic side here. His continuing “argument” with Rum-Tum-Tugger (Patrick Martinsson) is also really fun to watch, and it’s great how the two actors manage to continue it all through the first act. (They miraculously seem to have become friends in the second act though). In “Skimbleshanks: The Railway Cat” it was more a question of physical strength than acting, as he and Patrick Martinsson were in charge of pushing the train across the stage. But I think it was in “Macavity - the Mystery Cat”, that Niklas really got to perform as an actor. Starting out trying to be brave and stop Macavity, than a big fight scene with the scary Macavity, looses, and ending up injured, crawling away to safety, helped by the other cats. But of course, even though he handles the acting and dance parts wonderfully, Niklas is most of all a singer - and his vocal performance all through the show was really amazing!

I was also very impressed by Karolina Krigsman (Bombalurina) who had a wonderful voice! I wasn’t familiar with her before this (although I had seen her in interviews for Cats), but she is a really talented singer! Wouldn’t mind seeing her again!

Of course Per Myrberg (Gus/Growltiger) was also really great! I like his voice a lot, and he’s also a very talented actor.

Patrick Martinsson as Rum-Tum-Tugger was also very good, even though I’ve never been too fond of that character before. But Patrick did a really good job with it! Cool voice!

Also the four acrobats were really amazing! It’s really incredible to see them - looked like there was nothing they couldn’t do! Very impressive! I have to say the entire cast and ensemble were really great - everyone did a wonderful job!

Program:

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