Sunday, 22 June 2014

I do like to see CATS by the Seaside!!!


On one nice sunny day I embarked on a journey to Llandudno, North Wales, to see CATS at Venue Cymru.  Blue skies and blue sea welcomed me to popular seaside town.  Before we saw CATS my friend and I visited MOSTYN, an exciting contemporary art gallery, in the town centre.  We had lunch first and took in some exhibitions.  We had limited time to look in the galleries but we've managed to see some of the following highlights:

Gennym Ni Bost/We've Got Mail is a presentation of Royal Mail's history.  The exhibition coincides nice with MOSTYN which is part of building, the gallery's extension, was used as a postal sorting office.  The exhibition celebrates the building's heritage and got to see its memorabilia.  A short movie, played continuously, is shown; Night Mail written by W H Auden and music by Benjamin Britten.  I remembered the movie from my university studies when completing my creative English module.  There is an interactive exhibition where we were able to try on some postman's hats which spanned over a number of generations.

We were invited to think and reflect about our own personal experiences of Royal Mail.  We know in our generation alone a lot has changed especially with the introduction of the internet and emails.  This exhibition is hosted by Robert Barry, Gabrielle De Santis, Jan Dibbettsm, Ane Mette Hol, Jonathan Monk and Kirsten Pieroth, the artists, is running until 6th July 2014.  There will be subsequent exhibitions which will feature the subject of mail and continue the celebrations of MOSTYN's heritage.

We then visited Ryan Gander's Chance Everything exhibition.  This innovative and thought provoking piece of work encouraged full use of our senses.  The story telling process is linked with the visitor who are encouraged to use their initiatives, instincts, thought processes, curiosities, decision making, planning tools and so forth.  The pages of a storybook are displayed in front of us and in such a way that one isn't able to follow or read literally in order.  Choices are marked on the pages inviting readers which page to go to.  This figuratively links with our personal lives in a form of a 'story book' but with no organised life structures and that the beginning to the end is never simple.

There are some isolated objects which made one think that life is anything but! I learnt, literally the had way lol, that value attached to the objects is a lot more than one sees.  Objects are targets of planning and spontaneity thrown in disarray,  The enthusiastic gallery guide gave us an insight on how Gander wanted visitors to be detectives in this characteristic and thematic contemporary exhibition.  At the same time, however, Gander hopes that our senses would be aroused to what is surrounded round us and in our lives.  Like the other exhibition this one is on until 6th July 2014.

A return visit is planned to this exciting and contemporary art gallery!  MOSTYN can be followed on Twitter and further information can be found on their website

The time came when we made our way to Venue Cymru for the matinee performance of CATS.  We marvelled at the blue skies and the optimistic blue sea during our short walk between venues.  We were so lucky with the weather! I've seen CATS 10 times, if I'm correct, previously and the 11th visit to the show was just as special! Sitting in the front row stalls is an interesting experience and seeing the show in a different perspective.  You 'interact' with the 'cats' more as they settle near you in between the scenes. You see closely their facial expressions and their feline demeanours. I felt more emotive from feeling sorry and sad for Grizabella to be frightened with Macavity's pouncing off the stage angrily and his scary but brief intervention.  The show was performed very well by an excellent and talented cast of the UK and European tour.

Since I last saw CATS in Liverpool last November (you can read my review here).  There has been some slight cast changes.  The performance we saw had a few understudies and they were supported by Sophia Ragavelas (Grizabella), Callum Train (Munkustrap), Nicholas Pound (Old Deuteronomy) and Filliop Strocchi (Rum Tug Tugger).  A 'Me-WOW' afternoon learning about the felines' journeys to the midnight ball and the pending summer - hopefully like a summer's day we had in Llandudno!


This performance has prompted me to see CATS again in September at Birmingham's Hippodrome.  I'm hoping the tour will continue beyond September where no doubt I'll continue to see CATS! A must see musical where felines reign.  There is something for someone including cats!

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