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Dress Circle

Cats creams Paris awards

A British musical has broken through Parisian chauvinism and walked away with three coveted prizes.

The French production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats has been named winner of the Moliere Award for the best Musical of the Year, and for her work on the production Gillian Lynne has won the titles Best Director and Best Choreographer.

The Paris Cats, which opened at the Theatre de Paris in February this year with a multi-national cast, is the first outside musical to feature in the awards, which were inaugurated three years ago and which have a status equivalent to an Oscar. Gillian Lynne's production was based on Trevor Nunn's for London, but adapted for the setting and translation of TS Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats.

A spokeswoman for Lynne said that although the cross Channel production was first mooted some years ago, initially it was rejected on the grounds that it was almost impossible to get anything off the ground that was not a local initiative. But Cats this year broke the tradition, and has played to packed houses since its first night.

Gillian Lynne was unable to attend the award ceremony in Paris because she is recovering from a neck injury. She is in the throes of preparation for the rehearsals of Cats in Blackpool and Phantom of the Opera in Los Angeles. However, as soon as the news was announced at the weekend, and she said she was thrilled.

At the weekend Cats became the longest ever running musical in the West End.

Ann Nugent


Copyright © 2002 M. Kniestedt. All rights reserved.