BREAKING NEWS: Beverley Knight Joins Cast Of Record-Breaking Cats For Strictly Limited Season
| By Jacob Porteous
Beverley Knight is to star in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s record-breaking musical Cats the musical to play the role of Grizabella. Returning to the London Palladium from 23 October 2015, Lloyd Webber’s Cats will run for a ten week season until 2 January 2016.
Beverley Knight said: “To be asked to join the company of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s historic show was so exciting and totally unexpected as, vocally, I am so different to the many incredible women who have sung the classic 'Memory' over the years. To follow in their footsteps is something to truly relish! I am really looking forward to transforming into Grizabella with her fabulous costume and amazing make up and to be playing the role at the London Palladium. Working with Andrew will be a real privilege.”
Queen of British Soul Beverley Knight is a singer, songwriter and record producer who has been one of the UK's most consistent artists since the release of her debut album in 1995. Having sold over a million albums in the UK, scoring several top 10’s and four gold certified albums as well as the platinum selling Voice: The Best Of Beverley Knight, her latest critically acclaimed album Soul UK, was a top 15 charting album upon its release in July 2011. To date, she has won three MOBO Awards, an Outstanding Achievement Award at the Urban Music Awards, been three times nominated for Best Female at the Brit Awards and twice nominated for the prestigious Mercury Music Prize. Knight has presented four series of Radio 2 show Beverley’s Gospel Nights and appeared in two series of hit BBC1 show Just The Two Of Us as well as appearing on stage with the likes of Prince, Stevie Wonder and Take That. Last summer, she wowed a viewing audience of one billion with a rendition of the song I Am What I Am at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Knight, who in 2007 was awarded an MBE for her services to music and charity, is currently working on her eighth studio album. Beverley Knight recently played the leading role of Rachel Marron in The Bodyguard at the Adelphi followed by Felicia in Memphis The Musical at the Shaftesbury Theatre.
Based on T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, Cats returned to the West End in December last year reuniting the original creative team - Director Trevor Nunn, Associate Director and Choreographer Gillian Lynne, Designer John Napier and Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. Nicole Scherzinger and then Kerry Ellis played the role of Grizabella in this sell-out Palladium run. In July this year Jane McDonald will play Grizabella in an 8 week season at Blackpool Opera House.
On just one special night of the year, all Jellicle cats meet at the Jellicle Ball where Old Deuteronomy, their wise and benevolent leader, makes the Jellicle choice and announces which of them will go up to The Heaviside Layer and be reborn into a whole new Jellicle life.
Cats, one of the longest-running shows in West End and on Broadway, received its world premiere at the New London Theatre in 1981 where it played for 21 record-breaking years and almost 9,000 performances. The production was the winner of the Olivier and Evening Standard Awards for Best Musical. In 1983 the Broadway production became the recipient of seven Tony awards including Best Musical, and ran for eighteen years. Since its world premiere, Cats the musical has been presented in over 30 countries, has been translated into 10 languages and has been seen by over 50 million people world-wide. Both the original London and Broadway cast recordings won Grammy Awards for Best Cast Album. The classic Lloyd Webber score includes 'Memory' which has been recorded by over 150 artists from Barbra Streisand and Johnny Mathis to Liberace and Barry Manilow.