Campaign Amateur Theatre (CAT) is an amateur Musical Theatre Company based in Ely and celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
The company was originally thought up by Graham Fletcher and his wife Janet in 1968 and was predominately made up of RAF personnel from The Princess of Wales Hospital. They wanted to perform a production of West Side Story and recruited extra cast members from the local youth club. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be as the leading man broke his leg, the leading lady fell ill and other cast members were posted abroad!
At this point CAT may have folded had it not been for a loan from Cancer Research of £100. This enabled the company to stage their first musical production of Oliver in 1969. It was held at Needhams Hall with the St Mary’s Church choir making up the cast of Fagin’s Gang! It was at this time that Campaign Amateur Theatre became known simply as CAT. The original logo was based on ‘Henry’ the Cat who belonged to founding members, Rex and Jan Lane.
The company has made regular donations to Cancer Research UK, Strangeways laboratory, and other cancer charities over the last 5 decades. To date, it has raised thousands of pounds for Cancer Research and at the last production, The Full Monty in October 2018, £427.98 was raised for Prostate Cancer. CAT hope to continue donating money to help others and are extremely grateful to their members and audiences for their generous support.
CAT aims to offer a variety of shows each year which appeal to a wide audience. As they are celebrating 50 years it was the perfect opportunity to look back over some of their most memorable performances. These have ranged from the traditional favourites such as Oklahoma and Calamity Jane to Classics such as My Fair Lady and Oliver. They also performed an annual Pantomime for many years and Gilbert & Sullivan Operettas. In more recent years CAT has brought some modern and new shows to Ely including Spend, Spend, Spend, Rent, The Wedding Singer & Sister Act. They also performed The Owl & The Pussycat, an original musical written and scored by Peter Crussell and Rowan Alfred.
To celebrate all that CAT has achieved over the past 50 years, they will be performing a Showcase of songs from Past, Present and Future Productions. This will take place on 30th May – 1st June at 7.30pm (plus 2:30pm on Saturday) and will be held at Needhams Hall, Ely College. Tickets are on sale NOW from www.ticketsource.co.uk/cately and cost only £13 per adult and £10 for under 12’s. For more ticket information please email Martin at email@example.com.
“We hope that you will be able to join us for an evening of wonderful musical theatre. Whilst it is good to celebrate past achievements, it is also important to look forward to the future of CAT. To continue to thrive we must endeavour to attract the best local talent, not just singers and actors but also musicians, technicians and backstage crew. Therefore, if you would like to be part of CAT and be involved in some amazing productions please contact us for more information on firstname.lastname@example.org.
We would also welcome any person who would like to become a Friend of CAT or any businesses who would like to sponsor the society and help keep musical theatre thriving in Ely. For more information please contact us on email@example.com.” Jane Crussell – Chair.
Press release from CAT Theatre Company