Andrew Lloyd Webber hails TS Eliot as the father of rap as Cats returns to the West End
Cats became one of the longest running shows in the West End and on Broadway
Nick Clark is the arts correspondent of The Independent. He joined the newspaper in June 2007, initially reporting on the stock markets. He has covered beats including the City, and technology, media and telecoms and made the switch to arts in December 2011. He has also contributed articles to the sports section.
Monday 07 July 2014
Andrew Lloyd Webber has hailed TS Eliot as the father of rap, as the musical Cats is set to return to the West End with a new hip-hop flavour.
Cats, which is based on TS Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, is to be staged at the London Palladium for a 12 week run from the beginning of December.
The show has been updated with Lord Lloyd Webber rewriting the music for the character Rum Tum Tugger who will become “a street cat for today”.
He said: “I came to the conclusion, having read Eliot again, that maybe he was the inventor of rap. His metre for the Rum Tum Tugger is so wonderful… it raps.”
The composer illustrated by quoting the opening lines to the poem: “The Rum Tum Tugger is a curious cat;/ If you offer him pheasant he would rather have grouse./ If you put him in a flat then he’d rather have a house.”
Lord Lloyd Webber said some of the set will be updated to include items such as mobile phones. He has also rewritten the song “Growltiger’s Last Stand”, saying it was “never my favourite moment”.
Cats opened at the New London Theatre in 1981, with a cast that included Elaine Paige, Brian Blessed and Sarah Brightman.
It became one of the longest running shows in the West End and on Broadway, playing for 21 years and being seen by more than 50 million people in more than 30 countries.
Game of Thrones
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 2 Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
- 3 Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
- 4 Refugee crisis: Aylan's life was full of fear - in death, he is part of 'humanity washed ashore'
- 5 German police forced to ask public to stop bringing donations for refugees arriving by train
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 100,000 back our campaign
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up