Local actors perform offbeat online take on ‘Cats’ 

The Sunshine Coast’s Driftwood Players theatre troupe is Zoom-ing back onto our computer screens with a new online production, CatVids 17. In the wake of its recent, well-received Zoom-driven version of the play Babel Rap, the group is presenting another Zoom show. It is not, as the title might suggest, a collection of cat videos, as entertaining as that might be. It is a series of pre-recorded readings from T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum Book of Practical Cats, on which the musical Cats is based. 

The readings – in character, but not necessarily in costume – are drawn from 17 of the poems in the collection performed by 10 local actors, including Francesca Ryan singing the tune Memory from the Broadway show. The production will unfold over three evenings with different poems acted out each night, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, June 11 to 13, from 7 to 8 p.m. 

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As with Babel Rap, each 20-minute presentation of CatVids17 will be a “viewing party.”

The digital get-togethers will be hosted by actor Bill Forst and director Linda Turk. 

“The difference from Babel Rap is that this will be pre-recorded rather than live,” Forst told Coast Reporter. “Viewers will email me to get signed into a Zoom meeting, and then we will have some lobby chat time. After about 20 minutes, I will silence everyone, and then ‘share’ into the YouTube postings [of the readings] so we can all watch it together.” 

To register for the viewing party, or parties, of your choice, contact Forst at wbforst@gmail.com

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