Steven McRae, Principal dancer of The Royal Ballet, is to join the cast of Universal Pictures and Working Title's film adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats, directed by Academy Award winner Tom Hooper (The King's Speech, Les Misérables, The Danish Girl).
Director of The Royal Ballet Kevin O'Hare says,
It's really exciting that Steven is joining the cast of Cats, alongside fellow Royal Ballet Principal Francesca Hayward, allowing him to showcase his fantastic versatility and theatrical flair on film. We look forward to him returning to the Opera House stage as Romeo in the Spring.
Cats is produced by Working Title Films in association with Monumental Pictures and The Really Useful Group and executive produced by three-time Oscar winner Steven Spielberg, Lloyd Webber and Angela Morrison. Based on “Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats” by T.S. Eliot, the film is due for theatrical release in December 2019.
The film has a starry cast with Judi Dench as Old Deuteronomy (played by a man in the original stage version) and Ian McKellen as Gus The Theatre Cat. Other leads include Idris Elba as Macavity, Jennifer Hudson as Grizabella, and with Taylor Swift and James Corden among the cast. Billy Elliot‘s Lee Hall is writing the screenplay together with Hooper.
Cast changes at The Royal Ballet will be announced in due course.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.