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Thursday, 1 October, 1998, 14:02 GMT 15:02 UK
Paws and play - Cats goes to video
Cats is the longest running musical in British history
Cats: Longest-running musical in London and Broadway
Stars from the West End hit musical Cats and a host of other celebrities will gather on Thursday for a party to launch a video version of the show.

Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical is based on 14 poems of TS Elliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, and the launch marks the first time one of his musicals has been released on video.

The Cats video was recorded in two and a half weeks at the London Adelphi Theatre and directed by David Mallet, whose credits include filming Michael Flatley's successful Irish folk dance show Lord of the Dance.

A 70-piece orchestra provided the sound for the Cats video which has been enhanced to digital video disc quality.

Joan Collins will be at the launch
Joan Collins: Celebrity guest
Celebrity guests at Thursday's launch will include original cast members Sir John Mills and Elaine Paige who also feature in the video and Hollywood actress and author Joan Collins.

Andrew Lloyd Webber will launch the new production at London's Banqueting House in Whitehall.

The hall will be transformed into a rubbish dump to recreate the look of the stage set musical.

Cats is the longest-running musical in Broadway and British history and this year Webber and his cast members celebrated its 17-year run.

Elaine Paige, Brian Blessed, Paul Nicholas, Wayne Sleep and Sarah Brightman have been some of the cast to have graced the musicals stage. The current casts includes Sally Anne Triplett who in 1982, as part of a duo was the UK's entry in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Webber has accrued 550 million from his shows
Webber has accrued 550m from the shows
The musical has received world-wide acclaim and is currently playing in five different productions around the world including New York, Hamburg and Budapest and has grossed more than 1bn.

Despite its success, there were rumours that Andrew Lloyd Webber would close the show due to rising costs.

But Cats, along with his string of other shows like Jesus Christ Superstar and Starlight Express, has enabled the composer to amass a fortune estimated at 550m.

Cats the video goes on general release on October 5.

See also:

12 Aug 98 | Entertainment
Musical reaches 6000th performance
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