The Birmingham Hippodrome, September 2014
"I have to say that although it broke my heart, I was, and still am, glad I was there."
- Markus Zusak
I travelled to Birmingham for my last stop on tour to say goodbye to the show as I knew it. It was one of the most sublime experiences ever and I made some truly special memories in Birmingham, both in the sunshine before the shows, during the performances and of course at stage door after them. The cast I had become so close to already made me feel so welcome and sealed themselves a place in my heart forever, and so many of my favourite Cats memories of all time were associated with this trip, from the performances themselves to stage door and even just wandering around Birmingham in the sunshine, bumping into cast members and even spotting Dame Gillian Lynne herself. And, of course, I cannot possibly talk about Birmingham without talking about the most frequently recurring character of my Cats stage door story, the person whose portrayal of Carbucketty stole my heart in 2013: Joel Morris, back again and more brilliant than ever. With the news of the Palladium West End revival breaking and so many questions about the potential changes to the show going forward, I knew at the time it was the end of an era in more ways than one, saying goodbye to the tour and the oppertunity to see this cast for many multiple shows and also saying goodbye to the show as I knew it - to this day I see these days in Birmingham as the pinnacle of what the show was and how stage dooring for it could be.
Talk about knowing it was ending, talk about shopping that day, mention writing cards right up to the last second, talk about crying during the show and at the end, talk about the conversation with Joel where he thanked me, talk about how it was the end of the most perfect time.