The producers of CATS The Musical announced today that Delia Hannah will be returning to the role of Grizabella for the Adelaide and Perth seasons this year.
Hannah, a CATS veteran, will be reprising the role for the fourth time, with her most recent Australian season in 2010 being honoured with a Best Actress nomination at both the 2010 Helpmann Awards and the Green Room Awards of the same year.
“It’s exciting because I didn’t feel quite done with the show”, Hannah told AussieTheatre from New Zealand this week. “I get to play her one more time. It feels like a last hurrah.”
Delia has earned her place as a superstar of musical theatre from numerous other leading roles, including:- Fantine in Les Miserables, Roxy Hart in Chicago, Anita in West Side Story, Eva Peron in Evita, Glinda in The Wizard of Oz and Mrs Peachum in The Threepenny Opera. She has also previously won a Sydney Critics Circle Award for her performance as Mrs Johnston in Blood Brothers, and both Mo and Variety Club awards for her performance as Rose Vibert in Aspects of Love.
Hannah performed the role of Grizabella for the first time in Adelaide in 1994, so it is apt that this star of the stage returns to the Festival Theatre for her “last hurrah” in the role.
“Interestingly enough, it’s not going to be the same as last time. There’s going to be some adjustments to the character because of how they’ve reimagined her”, she said.
Pop star Delta Goodrem is currently performing the role in the show’s Melbourne season – a production which has been updated since its last incarnation on Australian stages. But the new costume and wig design for Grizabella in this production are not the only differences Hannah will notice when she returns to the Jellicle Tribe.
“I’m looking forward to reimagining the character for myself”, Hannah said.
“She has inner strength, she’s braver and she just wants to be who she is and not be judged. She still gets the same treatment from the other cats, but I’ll be coming from a different point of view. Every time I’ve come back I’m in a different place in my life so that brings something new for me too. You have to be open to making new discoveries, otherwise there’s no point doing it”
Hannah is also full of praise for her co-stars – the 29 other triple threat performers she will soon share the stage with.
“I can’t wait to get back with the company. I miss that energy of being around gorgeous dancers and actors who are so passionate about what they do, and who are so honed in their skill set and who are so well cast for the show. It’s glorious to see people make the piece come alive. My character wouldn’t work if wasn’t for the really hard work that the company do onstage for those two and a half hours. That means that I can walk on and sing Memory at the end. It’s a debt I owe the rest of the company.”
“We all have different strengths in this show but we come together as one. It’s a bit like humanity really.”
The show commences in Adelaide on Friday 18 March at the Festival Theatre and in Perth on Saturday 16 April at the Crown Theatre.
For full cast details visit: AMTDB.com.au/show/cats