Blackpool Winter Gardens Opera House, September 2015
Blackpool was my first trip to Cats in a long time where I would be seeing a lot of new faces within the cast, as well as experiencing the ongoing changes being made to the show itself. The Blackpool cast were somewhat depleted by the time I made my trip and I experienced my first ever performance of the show with no Carbucketty. I did meet the new Carbucketty though, as he was covering Mistoffelees that night, and I also got to catch up with the captivating Hannah Kenna Thomas, one of my favourite ever Victorias. I think once again my overriding memory of the performance was just how different it felt: there was a different atmosphere to it which had begun in London but had really cemented itself by the Blackpool residency - Cats was trying to be something it wasn't, somehow, and there was such a disconnect to me between what I was watching and what I knew the show to be. It was still a lovely night and the cast were hugely talented of course, and Luke Cinque-White made a gloriously kittenish, balletic and sweet Mistoffelees whose performance really stood out to me and whose dance solo was one of my absolute highlights alongside Hannah's Victoria solo, and of course Hannah was phenomenal as always, she was also really sweet to me at stage door after the show and as she is friends with Luke Cinque-White she was kind enough to introduce me to him as the Carbucketty fan and so I got a lovely chance to chat with them both about the show and my adoration of the kittens, and most importantly got the chance to let them both know how much I had enjoyed both their performances, especially Luke's as I really wanted to let him know he was a fabulous understudy Misto. It was great fun chatting to them about how crazy it was trying to do a performance without any Carbucketty, and it was a sentiment shared by all the former Jellicles I ended up telling about it too - when I mentioned it on Twitter that night the lovely Matthew Caputo replied with "But Carbucketty IS the Jellicle Ball!!" and I have to say it warmed my heart so much to see all the Carbucketty love, making up for any sadness I still felt about how different it had been watching the show because of the changes and my favourite kitten's absense.