Frankie Thompson: CAttS Work in Progress at Soho Theatre – Review – ★★★★★
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats is finally given the stage treatment it deserves, in the phenomenal Frankie Thompson’s hilariously absurd one woman love song to all things feline.
We last saw Frankie Thompson at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2019, and it’s fair to say that some things have happened since then… Happily, none of those things have dulled Thompson’s eye for the outrageously offbeat.
CAttS – a work in progress for now, though pretty near perfect if you ask us – is a surreal, description-defying spin through the songs of Cats The Musical, dipping into ridiculous cultural moments from sources as disparate as The Apprentice, The Simpsons, and the memories of Elaine Paige.
Essentially an hour of top-notch lip-sink, clowning around, sight gags, costume changes and visits to the litter tray, CAttS could be dismissed as a random melange of nonsensical mischief – but the vital message, movingly conveyed with a climactic montage of real-world misery, is to take whatever escape you can get. That’s why we love cats, right? Because they don’t have to deal with all that crap!
Joyous, stupendous, and somehow life-affirming, CAttS will perhaps not be for everyone – but it is for anyone with a sense of fun, an eye for the absurd realities of life, and a willingness to just go with it.
Go for the cat-worship, stay for the side-splitting silliness, and rave about it to all your friends – CAttS is like nothing you’ve ever seen before, and right now, we all need some Frankie Thompson in our lives!
CAttS takes another Work in Progress run out at Stanley Arts on 24 March.
Main Picture: Photo by Holly Revell