Theatre News: Andrew Lloyd Webber Criticises “Ridiculous” Cats Film

Photo Credit: Bruce Glikas

Andrew Lloyd Webber, composer of the hit musical Cats, has criticised the recent film adaption of the show. Lloyd Webber originally based the musical on T.S Eliot’s poetry collection Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats (1939).

Months on from the widely criticised film, Lloyd Webber largely blamed film director Tom Hooper for its failure. 

In an interview with The Sunday Times, Lloyd Webber highlighted what he believed to be the main issue. “The problem with the film was that Tom Hooper decided that he didn’t want anybody involved in it who was involved in the original show,” before concluding that “the whole thing was ridiculous.”

The star-studded ensemble cast of the 2019 film, which included the likes of Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, Dame Judi Dench and Idris Elba did little to impress critics, as the film currently holds a rather poor 20 per cent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The failure of Cats was a stark contrast to Hooper’s box-office success with his previous musical venture, the 2012 film adaption of Les Misérables.

The film adaption of Lloyd Webber’s hugely successful musical experienced a number of controversies after its initial 2019 release including a number of CGI glitches in the film’s original release. This included Judi Dench’s character appearing on screen with a human hand instead of paws.

Lloyd Webber also highlighted the widely reported struggles of the theatre world in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. He stated that the seven theatres he owns in London’s West End was costing him almost £1 million to maintain.

Words by Izzy Anstee.


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