Musical favourite Cats is coming to town.

Dance, music and verse fuse together in this enchanting tale as Old Deuteronomy, wise and benevolent leader of all Jellicle cats makes the Jellicle choice and announces which of them will go up to the heaviside layer and be reborn into a whole new Jellicle life.

Polly Renouf caught up with award-winning performer Joseph Poulton, who plays Mr Mistoffelees in Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s classic.

Polly Renouf: How do you feel about stepping into the famous role of Mr Mistoffelees?

Joseph Poulton: Cats has been a dream show for me since I was a little boy, and to be in the role I’ve admired, which combines both ballet and jazz, is amazing.


PR: What do you think it is about the story that has meant it has become the second longest running show?

JP: The fact that the show is told largely through dance is unique and breaks all language barriers. Plus, the brilliant choreography of Gillian Lynne and the music by Andrew Lloyd Webber helps contribute to its success.


PR: How much of your own interpretation will you bring to the role?

JP: I see Mr Mistoffelees as an adolescent and quite a cool kid. He’s very helpful and likes the finer things in life. Choreography-wise, the movement speaks for itself, so I find it easy to develop the character from the steps.

PR: Will your passion for choreography ever overtake your love of performing in front of an audience?

JP: I have always had a passion for choreography and it’s been something I’ve been developing for a while. I feel the different styles of choreography I’ve danced in both ballet and musical theatre companies have enriched my dancing vocabulary and knowledge and will help me in my choreographic career. Having said that, I feel my love for performing will always be shared 50/50 with my love of choreography.

PR: What do you think has been your career highlight?

JP: Joining Cats has been a highlight of my career, and dancing this amazing role with an amazing cast. I’ve travelled all over Europe and the UK and seen some fabulous places. I also enjoyed performing at the Oliver Awards last year, which was held on the main stage at the Royal Opera House.


Cats; New Wimbledon Theatre, 93 the Broadway, Wimbledon; until May 17, Monday to Saturday 7.30pm, Saturday matinees 2.30pm; £10 to £37.50;