For a musical that has had more than nine lives, the latest tour of Cats is as fresh today as it was when it opened in London's West End in the early 1980s.

Based on T S Elliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, Andrew Lloyd Webber's hit is on tour again.

Essentially a whimsical tale of friendly and fiendish felines, there is no big storyline - we are invited to the annual Jellicle Ball when dear Old Deuteronomy (Nicholas Pound) will announce the cat who will be reborn. 

From the moment you enter the theatre's auditorium you downsize, stretch out, lick your lips and indulge in John Napier's magnificent rubbish dump of a set.  Spilling over the stage you know that before Adrian Kirk's orchestra have even struck up a note, you have a VIP invitation.

The show is a dancer's dream, for both performer and balletomane.   Sticking to Gillian Lynne's original inspired choreography the cast preen, curl, roll and spit like our favourite moggies.  From the comic Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer to the tragic Grizabella, the magic Mistoffelees to the malevolent Macavity this cat ballet could be a match for any Mouse King from seasonal favourite The Nutcracker (at the Empire only last week).

Performances of these cats tales were all top notch but Oliver Savile's Rum Tum Tugger had my toes tapping, Clare Rickard's Jellylorum was a delight and Alicia Beck's Victoria made me nostalgic for the days when I was more flexible! 

In an ironic twist on the 21st century fashion of TV talent shows, old theatre cat Asparagus bemoans 'modern productions' where kittens just 'jump through hoops'.  It will be interesting to see if Lloyd Webber would ever cast this show from the streets - the Holy Grail for Grizabella perhaps?

Cats is on at the Liverpool Empire Theatre until December 7. Tickets from £10 (Mon-Sat evenings 7.30pm, Wed & Sat matinees, 2.30pm).  To book visit the Liverpool Empire box office or call 0844 871 3017 or buy online at