As previously reported, it has been confirmed that former Loose Women panellist Jane McDonald will star as Grizabella in Cats when it transfers to Blackpool this summer.
Following its West End run at the London Palladium, Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical opens at the Blackpool Opera House for a six week season from 9th July. Nicole Scherzinger starred as Grizabella when Cats returned to the West End last year and Kerry Ellis recently took over. Elaine Paige originated the role in 1981.
Based on T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, Cats returned to the West End last year with the original creative team - Trevor Nunn, Gillian Lynne, John Napier and Andrew Lloyd Webber - reunited for the Palladium run. The musical closes at the Palladium on 25th April 2015.
Speaking at a press launch earlier today, McDonald said: "I am absolutely thrilled to be playing Grizabella in Cats. It is an honour to have been selected by Andrew Lloyd Webber and I can’t wait for the show to begin in July.
“I will be working with a fantastic production team and cast and I am looking forward to the reaction from audiences in Blackpool. I always enjoy Blackpool and have had some great nights at the Opera House so now to be returning for 2015 in Cats is wonderful and, of course, I can’t wait to spend the summer by the seaside.”
Andrew Lloyd Webber said "Last year the original Cats creative team, Trevor Nunn, Gillian Lynne, John Napier and I got together to re-create the show for the London Palladium and, following a phenomenal run in the West End, I am delighted that we are set to visit Blackpool with our production this summer.
"Cats was originally seen in Blackpool 26 years ago when Marti Webb played Grizabella. I am thrilled that for this return visit Jane McDonald is to join our Company to take on the role. We are all very much looking forward to returning to the Opera House in July.”
Director Trevor Nunn added: “We are so pleased be returning to Blackpool with our production of Cats and are looking forward to seeing John Napier’s extraordinary set back at the Opera House. Since its world premier in 1981 Cats has been performed extensively around the world and we are delighted to be bringing our cast of 30 performers direct from the West End to Blackpool’s historic theatre destination."