On Disc

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"Jellicle" cats join for a Jellicle ball where they rejoice with their leader, Old Deuteronomy. One cat will be chosen to go to the "Heavyside Layer" and be reborn. The cats introduce themselves.








Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Elaine Paige ...
Gus the Theatrical Cat
Rosemarie Ford ...
Michael Gruber ...
John Partridge ...
Aeva May ...
Geoffrey Garratt ...
James Barron ...
Jo Gibb ...
Drew Varley ...
Susie McKenna ...
Jennyanydots the Gumbie Cat
Jacob Brent ...
Susan Jane Tanner ...
Phyllida Crowley Smith ...


Cats is a pop-cultural phenomenon that has been performed on stage for more than 50 million patrons in 26 countries for almost 18 years, resulting in more than two billion dollars in ticket sales. Now that Cats has finally made it to the small screen, attention must be paid not just by fans of this critic-proof show, but also by those entertainment mavens who have somehow avoided it until now. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Das weltweit beliebteste Musical von Andrew Lloyd Webber - Die Erinnerung wird immer bleiben! (The worldwide most liked musical of Andrew Lloyd Webber - The memory will last forever!) See more »


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Release Date:

27 October 1998 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


"CATS", a musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats" by T.S. Eliot, produced by Cameron Mackintosh and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group, opened in the West End of London at the New London Theatre on May 11, 1981. It was directed by Trevor Nunn, and the associate directed, staged, and choreographed by Gillian Lynne with set and costume design by John Napier, and lighting by David Hersey. Webber and his long time collaborator Tim Rice had a falling out in 1977 and in order to show Rice that he didn't need a lyricist, set Eliot's verse to his compositions, the principal exception being the most famous memorable song from the musical, "Memory" for which the lyrics are credited to director Nunn after an Eliot poem entitled "Rhapsody on a Windy Night". Also, a brief song entitled "The Moments of Happiness" was taken from a passage in Eliot's "Four Quartets". Webber premiered the compositions at the Sydmonton Festival in 1980. The concert was attended by Eliot's widow, Valerie Eliot. She loved the song folio that Webber had composed and gave her blessing for the songs to be adapted into a stage musical play. Webber and Mackintosh needed a theatre and a venue to start production and rehearsals and began scouting venues for their production with designer Napier. They discovered a vacant television-theatre-audience stage with an existing 36' diameter turn-table; the facility and stage had been built for and used primarily for television production and had offices, dressing rooms, and a scene dock. The building's television studio-stage also had an adequate floor (daily-game-show) audience seating area with the raised stage occupying two thirds of the building's studio-stage foot-print. The audience second floor horse-shoe ring balcony was above the floor audience section. The orchestra area was nestled beneath the upper horse-shoe audience view of the stage's balcony's left side. The set that John Napier designed for the theatre venue comprised an enormous mound of over-scaled scenic elements comprising automobile parts, rubber tires, architectural elements, and typical discarded household trash items. With no house curtain, the audience arrived, sitting in their seats, staring at this huge mound of JUNK piled in front of them. As the overture started, the house lights dimmed to complete total darkness, embedded in the scenic eight foot high alley trash hedge of junk, cat's eyes started blinking, through-out a scenic mountain of trash. Slowly, the turntable rotated revealing the empty central stage area: performers represented the flash and glitter of the 80s London art scene, dressed in camp punk feline fur-patched costumes who crept out of the trash pile crevices, an automobile's back-end trunk 'bonnet' lid lifting, felines pouncing onstage from the set's over-sized crates, barrels, pipes and card board crumpled box lids into the performances opening: the cats gather on stage and explain the Jellicle tribe and their purpose "Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats", explaining how the different cats of the tribe are named, which signals the beginning of the "Jellicle Ball"- the night they make what is known as "the Jellicle choice" and decide which cat will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new life. Due to the Eliot estate asserting that they write no script and only use the original poems as the text, the musical had no identified plot during the rehearsal process causing many actors to be confused about what they were actually doing. An unusual musical in terms of production construction, the overture incorporates a fugue; there are occasions when the music accompanies spoken verse. The musical-play is completely told through music with virtually no spoken dialogue in between the songs. Dance is the major key element in the musical especially during the opening 10-minute Jellicle Ball dance sequence. The original London show budget was 900,000 pounds. The show played a total of 8,949 performances in London. The final performance was on its 21st birthday, 11 May 2002, and broadcast on a big screen in Covent Garden to the delight of fans who could not acquire a ticket for the small theatre."CATS" held the record as London's longest running musical until 8 October 2006, when it was surpassed by "Les Miserables". Since its inception it has been staged in twenty-six countries. See more »


During the beginning of "The Awful Battle of the Pekes and the Pollicles," Victoria and Jemima can be seen sitting next to Old Deuteronomy watching along. In one scene, it shows them start to get up and leave, and they are gone in the next scene. The scene afterward, they are shown sitting there again, and gone again in the next. See more »


Rum Tum Tugger: Old Deuteronomy's buried nine wives, and more I am tempted to say... 99.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Credits show clips of each person in their characters costume from the video along with their name and character role. See more »


Referenced in The Sixth Sense (1999) See more »


The Ad-dressing of Cats
Written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and T.S. Eliot
Performed by Ken Page and chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

Live is better
2 January 1999 | by (Lester Prairie, Minnesota) – See all my reviews

The performance of Cats for the video is outstanding, but if you want the full effect, I suggest seeing the show live. The cast may be different, and that will change things from the video, but you'll love it!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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