Following good reviews for the revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats at the London Palladium, rumours are circulating that producers are planning to extend the run beyond its current booking period which ends on 7 February.
(For showbusinessinsights report of the announcement of the return of Cats, click here).
Filling one of London’s largest theatres has been helped by the luxury casting of Nicole Scherzinger in the role of Grizabella.
(For showbusinessinsights analysis of which West End theatre is the largest and why the question is surprisingly complicated, click here!)
Grizabella was played by Elaine Page in the 1981 original production, who stepped in for Judi Dench, who had to withdraw before opening due to injuring her Achilles tendon.
But with Scherzinger unable to extend her run, who would the producers cast? Unconfirmed rumours point to the First Lady of the West End, Kerry Ellis. Apparently, Kerry will join the company for an initial extension to April.
It is not the first time that Kerry Ellis has been the second actress to play the lead in a West End musical: when Wicked opened in London in 2006, she was understudy to Idina Menzel and took over at the beginning of 2007. Similarly, she replaced Jodie Prenger as Nancy in Oliver! in 2010.
Her brief return to the role of Elphaba in Wicked in 2014, sparked excitement in the West End – for showbusinessinsights account of her return, click here.
For a review of Wicked with Kerry Ellis, click here.
The producers have yet to confirm the extension of Cats and of Kerry Ellis’ joining the company. But when it is confirmed, with a loyal following, the lobbying for Kerry Ellis to be nominated for Best Takeover in a role will likely start before she has even taken over.
Cats: The Stage
Cats logo: Wikipedia
Kerry Ellis: Kerryellis.com