Superb CATS

At the time of going to press, some tickets were still available for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hugely successful musical, Cats, which opened at Lisbon’s Coliseu dos Recreios theatre last week, and will run until Sunday, November 13. The show is being staged in English, with Portuguese subtitles.

Demand for tickets was so great – 120,000 had been sold before the opening night – that Portuguese producers, UAU, decided to give Cats, originally scheduled to end on October 31, an extra two weeks. On the road since it ended its 21-year run at the New London theatre in 2002, Cats interrupted its tour of the UK to come to Lisbon. The show’s present artistic director is Kaye Brown, who has been with Cats since 1995.

Based on T.S. Elliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats (1939), the musical is a box office sensation wherever it goes. The numbers are staggering – since Cats opened in 1981, it has been staged in 26 countries and 360 cities, including 21 years in London and 18 years in Broadway, has been seen by more than 50 million people and earned in excess of 2,2 billion euros.

The only show that has generated more income was another Lloyd Webber musical, The Phantom of the Opera, which totalled 2.4 billion euros. “Cats saved Broadway,” the New York Times famously wrote when the musical ended its Broadway run in 2000.

Ticket prices for the Lisbon shows range from 17.50 – 65 euros. To book tickets visit