Lockdown catnip? Original film of Cats to be streamed online

Made 20 years before Tom Hooper’s critically savaged production, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1998 version stars Elaine Paige as Grizabella

The original filmed version of the musical Cats, made 20 years before Tom Hooper’s much-mauled box-office cat-astrophe, is to be streamed online. The film will be made available for free on YouTube as part of The Shows Must Go On!, a series of recorded Andrew Lloyd Webber productions that have included Jesus Christ Superstar and The Phantom of the Opera among others.

The 1998 film of Cats stars Elaine Paige as Grizabella, the role she originated when the musical premiered in 1981 and which brought her a top 10 hit that year with the song Memory. The cast includes John Mills as Gus the Theatre Cat, Ken Page as Old Deuteronomy and Susie McKenna as Jennyanydots. It is a streamlined version of the stage production, filmed without a live audience at London’s Adelphi theatre.

Andrew Lloyd Webber, whose new West End version of Cinderella is one of the many productions delayed by theatre’s coronavirus shutdown, has been playing his own compositions for fans on Twitter in recent weeks. On Sunday, he performed Skimbleshanks’s song.

Cats will be streamed at 7pm on 15 May and is available for 24 hours in the UK and 48 hours elsewhere. Quoting the musical’s famous West End slogan, Paige encouraged her Twitter followers to watch it “as it won’t be for ‘now and forever’”.


Chris Wiegand

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Andrew Lloyd Webber calls Cats film 'ridiculous'
Composer of hit musical says director Tom Hooper didn’t consult those involved in the original show when making his widely panned film adaptation

Catherine Shoard

03, Aug, 2020 @12:07 PM

Article image
How to stop Taylor Swift from turning Cats: The Movie into a dog’s dinner
With a big-screen adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s feline musical under way, here’s how #MeToo, Zac Efron and DJ Khaled could make purrfect movie memories

Hannah Verdier

17, Aug, 2018 @11:55 AM

Article image
Sunset Boulevard review – Hollywood musical is milder than Wilder
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s version of the 1950 film is smartly staged by Leicester’s Curve, starring Ria Jones and Danny Mac

Chris Wiegand

04, Jan, 2021 @12:01 AM

Article image
Cast of Cats film to be size of actual cats
Stars including Judi Dench, Ian McKellen and Taylor Swift will be shrunk via CGI and made hirsute using ‘digital fur technology’

Catherine Shoard

04, Apr, 2019 @10:13 AM

Article image
Cats choreographer Gillian Lynne dies aged 92
Tributes paid to the former dancer and choreographer whose West End hits included The Phantom of the Opera

Chris Wiegand

02, Jul, 2018 @9:10 AM

Article image
Tom Hooper to milk Cats musical for movie version
Director of The King’s Speech, The Danish Girl and Les Misérables reportedly keen to cast Suki Waterhouse in big-budget adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stage hit

Ben Child

06, May, 2016 @10:26 AM

Article image
'Get ready to get down': Nile Rodgers rises to Lloyd Webber Twitter challenge
‘Composers in quarantine’ play-off sees Chic star play a song from Jesus Christ Superstar as Lloyd Webber performs the Rodgers/Daft Punk hit Get Lucky

Chris Wiegand

03, Apr, 2020 @12:16 PM

Article image
Cats film: Taylor Swift and Andrew Lloyd Webber 'collaborate on new song'
Singer has written the lyrics to new song Beautiful Ghosts for the film, theatrical legend is quoted as saying

Stephanie Convery

25, Oct, 2019 @1:00 AM

Article image
'The masks are in my attic!' Ramin Karimloo on The Phantom of the Opera
As the 25th-anniversary staging of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical is streamed online, its star tells stories of fandom and the Phantom

Interview by Chris Wiegand

16, Apr, 2020 @10:22 AM

Article image
Taylor Swift to star in Tom Hooper's Cats movie
Singer-songwriter to take first major acting role, alongside Ian McKellen, James Corden and Jennifer Hudson, in Hooper’s adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical

Catherine Shoard

20, Jul, 2018 @1:34 PM