Star of television series ‘Britannia High’, musical ‘Daddy Cool’ and interactive web series ‘Tracey Beaker Returns’ Marcquelle Ward has landed a lead role in the West End favourite ‘Cats’. He will play Rum Tum Tugger alongside Queen of British soul Beverley Knight, who will play Grizabella.
Marcquelle took to twitter to display his excitement, he wrote, “Overwhelmed at what is happening in my life. Thank you Jesus, #RumTumTuggerDiaries”.
The actor will also star alongside Danielle Cato who is set to play Cassandra in the production. The pair featured together on BBC1’s ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ where they both showcased the scintillating dancing ability that will be on show in ‘Cats’. Marcquelle told TNT “Signing full blown vocals, and doing full blown dance routines is what this version of ‘Cats’ is all about for me. Everything that I have learnt throughout my professional singing, dancing and rapping career has led to me getting the role as Rum Tum Tugger in ‘Cats’”.
This production of ‘Cats’ has an exclusive feel, as the production team has attempted to increase the musical’s appeal to a young audience. Director Sir Trevor Nunn and Andrew Lloyd Webber have preserved the rigid and traditional characterisation of the older Cats, however Marcquelle’s character appears unfamiliarly modernistic through his tendency to utilise street dancing and rapping in the performance.
Consequently the older cats do not respond well to Rum Tum Tummer, although Marcquelle’s rebellious character inspires and plays role model to the younger cats. Marcquelle told TNT that Webber described his character as “independent, diverse and preening”.
Marcquelle Ward revealed how musical composer Andrew Lloyd Webber scouted his unique talent through sitting in on one of his auditions. Webber was impressed with Marcquelle’s rapping ability and subsequently offered him a role in ‘Cats’. The actor was honoured to meet the impresario of musical theatre and stated, “I had the privilege to meet Andrew Lloyd Webber and he was impressed with my ability to sing in a number of styles, he and I were also impressed with Beverley’s incredible vocal range”.
The latest production of ‘Cats’ begins on Friday the 23rd of October and will run up until the 2nd of January, at London’s Palladium Theatre.
TNT Entertainment Billy Rooney