Review of CATS by Jacqui Hartley, NODA Rep NE

A standing ovation for Calder Valley Youth Theatre that was so well deserved, and not one of these chilren is over nineteen, and most of them much younger.  
One could not criticise this magnificent production in any way. Each character or ‘named cat’ was first class and never faltered in their interpretation of their character or mannerism.  Munkustrap (Dalton Wood) and Macavity (Josh Clithero) excelled themselves in their fight with their dancing gymnastics, and Grizabella ‘The Glamour Cat’ (Georgia Lomax-Thorpe) her singing of ‘Memory’ was magical.  All of the principles (and that was most of the cast) would give any professional a run for their money.  The wonderful costumes had all been made by the society, and the excellent costume and make up for each cat was completely different.  
I was sat on the front row right in front of the Orchestra with sixteen players and I thought I would never hear the children, but not one word was missed.  I saw ‘Cats’ in London in the first week of it’s run with all the top stars and I have been a devoted fan of Cats ever since.
 Jacqui Hartley, NODA rep

“It made me cry with pride and emotion that such a talented group of performers could produce a major musical on such an epic scale- and that was before I realised the age range of the group! Every second of hard work showed on that stage for their adoring public to see. An incredible achievement for all involved”

Aggi Gunstone


“What a show! Incredible make-up, costumes and flawless choreography. A stunning performance by the young cast with humour, energy and some moments of pure spine-tingling emotion. Without a doubt some future stars of the stage”

Jo Deahl, Producer at BBC North


Wow! I loved it so much I saw it twice. Flawless performances from a cast who have worked so hard, and you can tell. The Rum Tum Tugger’s swagger had me half hysterical laughing and half swooning in my seat! That a cast of 9 years to 19 can carry a professional show to such a standard defies belief. Dalton, Georgia, Otti, Bertie, Elodie, Hannah to name just a few of a magnificent cast; all wonderful beyond their years. Just a shame it had to end.

Vicky McGhee

”We had the pleasure of seeing CVYTs performance of Cats at the Playhouse on Saturday afternoon and what a tremendous performance it was. You must be very proud of the young people taking part as there was some unbelievable talent on the stage”

Mr. Phillip Waldron – Chairman Halifax Thespians

”Truely brilliant show. Cast and crew should be very proud”

Todd Wilson – Ex CVYT member and Performing Arts student in Liverpool

”CATS was absolutely brilliant! Just can’t get over how good it was. Those kids are truly amazing – we were gobsmacked. Well done to all the support crew too – a fantastic night out!”

Roz O’Connor

“Wow! What an incredible performance of CATS. You should be really proud of yourself and all your cast. Well done.”

Lee Robinson


  • — The original production opened at the New London Theatre, in the West End on 11 May 1981.  Eight years later it celebrated its first important milestone: after 3,358 performances, Cats became the longest running musical in the history of the British theatre.
  • — On 29 January 1996 the London production of Cats celebrated its 6,141st  performance and became the longest running musical in the history of West End theatre.
  • — In April 1999 the gross box office for the London production was over £115,363,000.00
  • — CATS opened on Broadway at the Winter Garden Theatre on October 7, 1982, and continued to live up to its motto of playing “Now and Forever” until September 2000
  • — On 19 June 1997 the show became the longest running musical on Broadway.
  • — Since its opening, Cats has been presented in over twenty countries and in about two hundred and fifty cities, including such diverse destinations as Buenos Aires, Seoul, Helsinki and Singapore.  Within two and half years of the London opening there were productions in New York, Tokyo, Budapest and Vienna, and the first of tour US touring productions had hit the road.
  • — Cats has been translated into ten languages: Japanese, German, (three versions for Germany, Austria and Switzerland), Hungarian, Norwegian, Finnish, Dutch, Swedish, French, Spanish (two versions for Mexico and Argentina) and Italian.  The Swiss production required a bilingual cast who performed in German and English on alternate nights.
  • — The title of the show has never been translated – the Mexican producers did a survey as to whether the Mexican audience would like their production to be called Gatos – the response in favour of keeping the English original was unanimous.