THE curtain comes down on an outstanding season at the Garrick, with a magical production that’s sure to live for long in the Memory of audiences who see it.
Sorry, I couldn’t resist that one.
Memory is the best song in the show by a mile and becomes a thing of beauty when sun by singers as gifted as Vicky Clarkson and Neve Finnigan, who play Grizabella and Jemima respectively.
It made me forget the weaknesses in Lloyd Weber’s score which are sporadic but still there.
Based on TS Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, it’s a major triumph for choreographer Deborah Kate Norris, who, along with her assistant Val Watkinson, has helped create a feast for the senses, served up by a vibrant and exciting, largely young company.
When it comes to the dance routines, the cast are highly versatile, whether they’re performing slinky, sensual, at times balletic routines or mesmerising tap numbers in this celebration of all things feline.
Judging by the standards achieved in this show, which has the consistently impressive Mark Goggins as its musical director, the future of amateur musical theatre in this area looks very bright indeed. Mark Goggins simply doesn’t have it in his DNA to preside over a bad show.
The magical element of the evening is enhanced by a rooftop set designed by Stephen Bradshaw. It was also pleasing to see children in the audience - I can’t think of a better way to introduce them to an art form that has yet to lose its power over me, 30 years and several hundred reviews later.
When word gets out as to just how breathtakingly brilliant this show is I expect tickets to be snapped up. So book now to avoid disappointment.
Make sure you don’t miss this evening of unforgettable musical escapism.
Until May 25. The box office is on 0161 928 1677. Star rating - ***** Please note - Altrincham Garrick continues to play host to visiting productions. Check its website for details.