CATS Character Descriptions
The youthful leader of the Cats in Old Deuteronomy’s absence. When he grows older and Old Deuteronomy passes on, it is probably Munkustrap who will assume his position as leader. He likes to be in charge and is the one frequently telling the stories or directing the other cats.
A ‘mother’ figure, she, along with Jellylorum, looks after the younger cats and keeps them safe. She is also known as the “Old Gumbie Cat”, for all day she sits and sits and sits; but at night she rules the mice and cockroaches, commanding them to undertake music and crocheting, or perform good deeds as boy scouts, to learn nicer manners and curb their naturally destructive habits. ‘She’s even created a beetles tattoo.’
Rum Tum Tugger
‘The Rum Tum Tugger is a curious cat’. Whatever you offer him, he’ll want the opposite! If you offer him pheasant, he’ll want to eat grouse. If you set him on a rat, he’d rather chase a mouse. He only likes what he finds for himself. The Tugger has a cool rock-star quality, and is also a bit of a playboy, flirting with all the females and quite happily leading them on.
The “glamour cat” who left the tribe to experience the outside world, and who now wants to come back. However, no one will accept her, until Jemima eventually touches her and reunites her with the tribe. It is Grizabella who is chosen by Old Deuteronomy to be reborn and journey to the Heaviside Layer.
The ultimate cat about town, he’s a connoisseur of fine dining. He enjoys eating out at the best restaurants, which has caused him to be a ‘twenty five pounder’ who is ‘putting on weight every day!’
Mungojerrie & Rumpleteazer
This pair are small-time crooks, as well as ‘knock-about clowns’ and ‘acrobats’. They live together in Victoria Grove where they constantly cause trouble. It is believed they work for Macavity but nonetheless they are still Jellicles. They will steal just about anything.
The wise old leader of the Jellicles, he has been around for a very long time, ‘before Queen Victoria’s accession’. He is respected and fondly regarded by the rest of the tribe. He is captured by Macavity, and he helps Grizabella on her journey to the Heaviside Layer.
Asparagus, also known as ‘Gus’
The ‘theatre cat’ who was famous in his youth, as he was a cat of the stage. However, he is now very old, and soon will be gone, but he proudly tells the rest of the tribe of his youth and his roles on stage.
Growltiger & Griddlebone
Growltiger, a fearsome pirate, appears in Gus’s poem ‘Growltiger's Last Stand’, which is a dream-sequence pastiche of Music Hall dramas, as Gus is reminiscing about one of his favourite roles performing an old-fashioned melodrama. Growltiger has lost one eye, and one of his ears is "somewhat missing" after an incident involving a Siamese cat. He is desperately smitten by the beautiful Griddlebone (played by Jellylorum), and terrified of the Siamese.
The ‘railway cat’ who runs the train to perfection - without him the trains wouldn’t start! He’s like an Uncle to the other cats. Along with Jellylorum and Jennyanydots, he helps watch out for the younger cats. In some productions, Skimbleshanks has a Scottish accent.
Macavity is a notorious criminal known as ‘The Napoleon of Crime’. The character is a literary allusion to the Sherlock Holmes’ stories diabolical character Professor Moriarty. His powers of disappearance are phenomenal.
The original conjuring cat, he’s the tribe’s magician and always knows how to entertain either with a card trick, a dice or other magic. It is he who saves Old Deuteronomy and returns him from Macavity’s evil clutches.
OTHER NAMED CATS
In the order of the program
Demeter is a very strong female character in the show, whose best friend is Bombalurina. It is thought by some people that the two are sisters but nothing is known for certain. It is also suspected that she had a relationship with Macavity, hence her nervousness at his entrance.
She’s a sly red female who loves to flirt with all the toms, but really has her heart set on the Rum Tum Tugger. Her best friend is Demeter and they are frequently seen singing together. She plays a leading part in introducing several of the cats, and also sings about Macavity.
She’s one of the younger cats who seems to have a distinct connection with the moon and dawn. She’s one of the first cats to show kindness towards Grizabella, and sings with her.
Jellylorum is a kind of ‘mother’ amongst the cats; watching out for the kittens, especially when Macavity’s around! She is good friends with Gus, and plays the beautiful ‘Griddlebone’ in Gus’s play about ‘Growltiger’s Last Stand’. She was named after T.S Eliot’s own cat.
Victoria (the white cat)
She is one of the youngest cats along with Jemima. She’s playful and very elegant and an amazing dancer. She is the cat who loses her innocence at the Jellicle Ball, the final step towards adulthood.
A black and white / black and gold tom. Sometimes considered the third in seniority after Munkustrap, as he also fights Macavity.
A brown and white tom kitten. The name "Carbucketty" was created by T.S. Eliot for a "knockabout cat”.
He is a playful young tom kitten, and a strong dancer. His costume is patchy browns on a white base, suggesting he is a bi-colour tabby and white.
He is a very graceful cat that helps to protect the kittens. He is a brilliant dancer and performs a pas de deux with Victoria. It is possible he realises he has a crush on her at the Jellicle ball.
Cassandra sees herself as the “Queen” of the Cats. She thinks she is above the others and is independent. She is very graceful and elegant.
A tabby kitten who, along with Etcetera, is very fond of Rum Tum Tugger. They are often seen yelling and screeching for his attention. They both like to play and can be right little rascals when they want to be.
A tabby kitten who, along with Electra, is very fond of Rum Tum Tugger. They are often seen yelling and screeching for his attention. They both like to play and can be right little rascals when they want to be.
A fun cat who likes jumping around. He seems to be a little tom who is always causing trouble and putting his nose where it doesn’t belong.
A kitten that looks up to the older cats such as Munkustrap, Skimbleshanks and Rum Tum Tugger. He sometimes annoys them as he always wants to be near, and is currently teething so has a tendency to try and bite others.
Tantomile & Coricopat
They are identical twins who are very mysterious, and who can sense when something’s about to happen. They move in unison, and have a tendency to act and sing in sync. The name Tantomile was created by T. S. Eliot for a ‘Witch’s Cat’.
Blake O'Mara plays "Rum tum Tugger" in the "Tabbies cast" (13-18 yrs). Photo: Lilli Waugh Photography