On the 11th May 1981, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical “Cats” first premiered in the West End, London, based on the poetry of T. S. Eliot. ‘The Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats’ is a book of comic verse, which describe distinct cat personalities, a real contrast to the seriousness of the rest of his work, such as ‘The Waste Land’.
For Eliot, cats were intimate companions but also subjects of wonder and curiosity and an appropriate subject for poetry. Andrew Lloyd-Webber, had grown up with the book and he adapted the poems into his stage musical Cats, which broke records for the longest-running musical on Broadway. One of my favorites is Macavity: The Mystery Cat – this is the last stanza of the poem:
Eliot died in 1965 so didn’t get to see the musical – I wonder what he would have made of it?