bit of History
Two Unforgettable Nights
Closing in London
Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats
Cats in Italy
- Trip reports
London, May 8th-11th, 2002
Swan - AKA Demeter)
Back home… and this time it’s for
several months. Summer coming means a lot of extra-work for me, so no
London and no musicals at least until September. Oh, well, it’s okay.
These last five days I spent in London were amazing, under many points of
view… I will just try to drop here my most intense memories, about the
show and not: forgive me if sometimes it will all seem very sentimental!
AFTERNOON – THE FANS MEETING IN COVENT GARDEN
was amazing. I’m not a great chatter and I’m not used to speak a lot,
but meeting Lisa, Pounce, Feli, Jenny, Bomby, Belle, Celtic K and the
other guys was a real show. Some of them were in costume. Honestly, I
don’t think that I would EVER wear a lycra costume, but seeing people
who are enjoying themselves so much is always something good at heart.
Children in Covent Garden were amazed and lots of people stopped to take
photos of the cossy Cats Fans. A special mention for Thingy Wot, a
Starlight Express fan who was wearing an Etcetera costume: she real has a
great actress talent! (If you want to see many beautiful pictures of this
meeting, check Feli's
website; and, if you want to read another great trip report about
those days, check Delilah's
EVENING – THE SHOW
had a seat in the first row and I fully enjoyed the show. I loved Louisa
Shaw playing Jellylorum and most of all Griddlebone, I laughed to tears.
Question: WHY hiding that wonderful voice? As I said, she plays Jellylorum
in a really funny way, but this often means to change her voice and
deprive the audience of the emotion to hear her real voice, which emerges
just in a few occurrences. But her screams and her grumbling (while
leaving the stage after Growltiger tries to hide behind her when he sees
the Siameses) are fantastic.
Two or three of the performers on the stage recognised me (hmmm, I believe
that they thought something like “oh, that’s the Italian girl”) and
gave me some flashing smiles that I’ll never forget. During “The
naming of Cats” I was in front of Munkustrap (Jack Rebaldi) and
Cassandra (Tiffany Graves), so, as they are my favourite performers at all,
I really enjoyed that moment. Same for “The moments of happiness”,
when I could clearly see Jack Rebaldi’s tears slipping down his cheeks.
– ALL DAY LONG
all for me! I walked all over it, never tired to see its buildings,
theatres and palaces! A huge fight is still going on inside of me about
which is the most beautiful city I ever saw… heart and memories would
still like to answer Rome (hey, it was my home once), but every time
I go to London, the fight is harder! Unfortunately I had a little accident
in my hotel and I slightly hurt my left wrist, so I had to bandage it, but it
was nothing serious (pheeeew…).
EVENING – THE SHOW
This time I saw it from the first row of the Dress Circle and it was a new
experience, because all the other times I had been sitting in the Stalls
or on the Moving Platform. Of course, seeing the show from there gives a
more complete view of the choral dimension, especially in moments like
“Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats” or the Jellicle Ball.
EVENING – KID, THE SHOW AND THE LITTLE BOY
Friday was a special day at the theatre. First of all, meeting again not
only the other fans, but also Kid, who was so kind to give me a ticket.
For those who never met him… you’ve been deprived of something
special! Same for his Spanish friend Cristina, really a very nice person.
The show was fantastic, as usual, and from my seat (next to Feli) I had
the chance to see a very moving scene. There was a little boy sitting in a
corner seat of the first row of the Stalls (not the moving platform, I
mean, but the group of rows behind), while I was in the third row, same
seat as him. This boy could not walk (infact I saw him going out of the
theatre, at the end of the show, with a wheelchair) and I think he had the
Down’s Syndrome, or something similar… I can’t be sure. Every time
the performers were passing in front of him, he smiled and tried to greet
and touch them, but of course, during the show, the performers couldn’t
stop too much. But, at the end of Mister Mistoffelees, when they all run
between the audience, so many of them stopped in front of him, and touched
and greeted him! He was so happy, and when Demeter passed by, she reached
out both hands towards her. Barbara King at first just touched his hands,
then seeing how he was still reaching out arms towards her, flashed him
with a great smile and hugged him tight. I was really moved and clapped my
hands more and more!
NIGHT – DINNER
After the show, as it was still very early, I didn’t want to go
immediately back to my hotel, and had a walk with Rio, Lisa, Kate and
Junix. Only after some minutes I understood that they were going to look
for a restaurant, to have dinner together. Junix stopped in front of an
Italian restaurant and asked me if I wanted to join them. Of course I said
yes, but I still feel like he felt obliged to ask me… Junix, if you’re
reading, I apologize! But anyway the wish to spend time with them all was
strong and I had no scruples… and infact it was a fantastic dinner!!!
AFTERNOON – THE MATTINEE SHOW
Ah, the last live show for me! There were also my husband and our friend
Filippo (who is still thanking Kid in his heart, for giving him a ticket)
and we were sitting in the Dress Circle. The seats were good, because we
could see clearly not only the entrance of Griddlebone, and Jemima singing
her “memory” lines, but also some fragments of the backstage… cast
and crew working behind the scenes! In the end, during “The addressing
of Cats”, many swings were on stage, joining the other performers, and
that was fantastic.
EVENING – THE FINAL SHOW FROM THE COVENT GARDEN SCREEN
tickets for the final show, so… Covent Garden, with a crowd of fans, and
some rain… but it was worth seeing! We found a place straight in front
of the giant screen and it was curious to see the cameras focusing on the
performers’ faces… at the theatre, even if you’re in the first rows,
you can’t see all the faces and make-up details, so my husband and I
spent a lot of time nudging ourselves and saying “Oooh, look!”, Oooh,
did you see that?”, and so on.
NIGHT – THE STAGE DOOR
To fan or not to fan? That was the question! There were hundreds of
performers walking and chatting next to the Stage Door (I nearly bumped
into Jo Gibb), but in the end I decided that, except the few ones that I
already knew, I would not talk, nor ask autographs and photos. I always
have some doubts about the right behaviour with the performers, who are
tired after doing the show, and I usually try to be not a huge disturb for
them… so I just stayed there and saw them coming and going. Time passed,
and finally nobody was there anymore. The street was empty and there was
silence all over. I said goodbye to some friends who were still there like
me, then walked off, feeling a deep nostalgy. But also thinking that Cats
opened my eyes to a whole new world that I did not know, and that now is
ready for me. So many other musicals to see, so many other performers to
know, so many other songs to learn! Not mentioning the future Cats UK
Tour, the USA one, and so on. Enough, I guess, to be happy and not sad.
No London. No show. No English net-friends. But… someone waiting for me!