This article is about the character Gus, the Theatre Cat. For the musical number, see Gus: The Theatre Cat.
Gus, the Theatre Cat is a character from Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical, Cats.
In the 1998 Film of the musical, the actor playing Gus the Theatre Cat (the famous Sir John Mills) was too elderly to play more than a cameo role. This has led many fans to consider Gus, the frail elderly cat who has a solo, and his son, Asparagus, the avuncular ensemble cat, as different characters. Onstage Gus is played by the actor who also portrays Bustopher Jones and usually Growltiger.
Gus is an old, frail cat. He has a lot of history, and as a result of being so old, he is rather vague and a little confused initially. As he gets into the flow of telling his story, he becomes more confident and outspoken, speaking out about "These kittens/who do not get trained as we did, in the days when Victoria reigned!" He sings about having a past of acting in shows, particularly as Growltiger.
Gus is the first cat we are introduced to in Act II of Cats where he and Jellylorum relate highlights of his career, contrasting his present state with his acting heyday. In that time, it was claimed, "He has acted with Irving, he's acted with Tree." He and Jellylorum stress in particular his creation of the role of Firefrorefiddle, the "Fiend of the Fell". Onstage he goes on to relate how he "Once played Growltiger, could do it again..." which leads into the "Growltiger's Last Stand" scene. In the Broadway Revival, however, he plays the Rumpus Cat in The Awefull Battle of the Pekes and the Pollicles instead.
Gus is a striped grey/brown tabby. His wig is predominantly grey and straggly and has small rolled ears, as with some of the other cats. He wears a patched blanket as a coat that covers him entirely onstage, in order to disguise the Growltiger costume beneath.