Musical CATS’ big Blackpool return

Cats is slinking back into Blackpool for the 2015 Opera House summer season  Copyright: RUT 2015.  Photograph of London Palladium Company by Alessandro Pinna
Cats is slinking back into Blackpool for the 2015 Opera House summer season Copyright: RUT 2015. Photograph of London Palladium Company by Alessandro Pinna
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Magical musical CATS is slinking back into Blackpool for the Opera House’s summer season.

Stage fans will be able to ‘let the memory live again’ when the hit musical runs at the Winter Gardens theatre for eight weeks.

Tickets go on sale at 10am today.

CATS is currently enjoying a sell-out revival run at the London Palladium, which opened with US songstress Nicole Scherzinger in the acclaimed role of Grizabella.

Coun Graham Cain, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for tourism and leisure, said: “CATS has enjoyed huge success in the West End with a sell-out run at the London Palladium so for Blackpool now to be the chosen location as the show leaves the capital is great.

“The Opera House is the only North West theatre and indeed, the only place north of London where people will be able to see CATS in the UK this year so we are delighted.”

This will be the third time the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical has played the venue - after it made its regional UK premiere there with a six-month run in 1989.

It was seen by around 45,000 people and netted almost £4million.

And it returned to the venue after a 14-year gap in 2003 for a hugely successful three-week run.

Managing director of the Winter Gardens Michael Williams said CATS was the icing on the cake of the Opera House’s already-packed 2015 schedule.

“The Blackpool Opera House has a great history with CATS so we are thrilled to be welcoming the show back,” he said.

“The success of the show in London in the past year proves there is always room to see such hugely successful shows return and we look forward to welcoming both long-standing CATS fans and new ones.”

The summer season reveal comes hot on the heels of the announcement that the Opera House will host the world premiere of Last Night A DJ Saved My Life starring David Hasselhoff in October.

Michael added: “To now be able to add CATS to that mix for our summerseason is great for the venue and Blackpool.”

CATS will run in the capital until April 25, with stage star Kerry Ellis having taken over the lead from Scherzinger.

Earlier this week, CATS was nominated for two Olivier Awards - best musical revival and Scherzinger for the best supporting actress gong.

Adapted from TS Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, CATS first opened in the West End in 1981.

It tells the magical story of how our feline friends gather once a year at the Jellicle Ball, where their wise leader Old Deuteronomy selects a cat to be reborn into a new Jellicle life.

Hit record Memory features, with spectacular sets, costumes and choreography.

One of the longest-running shows in West End and Broadway history, CATS has been seen by more than 73million people and enchanted audiences in over 300 cities around the world.

n CATS, Blackpool Opera House, Thursday, July 9 to Sunday, September 6. Tickets, costing from £20, go on sale at 10am today from www.wintergardensblackpool.co.uk.