Cats had its German premiere in Hamburg on 11th April 1986. It played there for almost 15 years, closing on 28 January 2001. Cats was the first commercial musical production in Germany, followed by shows like The Phantom of the Opera and Starlight Express.

Production Specifics

The Hamburg production was loosely based on the Australian production which was created by the same team in 1985, not the comparatively local German-language Vienna Production. The costumes had their own version of John Napier's original design; Alonzo's costume was brown and black and Sillabub's costume was golden (it became red/purple soon after the release of the video). Also the make-up and wig designs were completely unique.

The Hamburg version of the show was much brighter and more cheerful than the productions in London and Vienna. The size of the cast (22 cats) and the names of the cats (Sillabub, Pouncival, Tumblebrutus, Genghis/Dschingis) were based on the Broadway production. Although there had already been a translation by Michael Kunze for the 1983 Vienna production of the show, the whole musical was re-translated because of copyright reasons.

Hamburg used the HH Nap 9 set that was designed to fit this particular theatre.


Operettenhaus Hamburg

The Theatre

Cats played at the Operettenhaus in Hamburg. Cats was the first success in this theatre after a long time. After Cats closed in 2001, the theatre was extensively re-modelled.

Creative Team

Hamburg Group 1

The Original Hamburg Cast, 1986

Director: David Taylor (after Trevor Nunn)

Choreographer: Jo-Anne Robinson (after Gillian Lynne)

Assistant to Jo-Anne Robinson: Lynnda Curry

Musical Supervisor: Stanley Lebowsky

Artistic Director: Sabine Grohmann

Resident Director: Terry Robinson

Musical Director: John Baer

Translation: Sabine Grohmann, John Baer, Marc Henning

Costume Supervisor: Alison Todd


CATS - Die Gumbie-Katze (Kaatje Dierks - Hamburg Cast)

CATS - Die Gumbie-Katze (Kaatje Dierks - Hamburg Cast)

CATS - Hamburg 1986 - Macavity (Sabine Hettlich & Charlotta Thorell)

CATS - Hamburg 1986 - Macavity (Sabine Hettlich & Charlotta Thorell)

Original Cast, 1986 (Sabine Hettlich & Charlotta Thorell)

Original Cast

Role Cast
Cast April 1986
Alonzo / Rumpus Katz Erique Redd
Asparagus / Bustopher Mürr Stephan Drakulich 
Bombalurina Charlotta Thorell 
Cassandra Amanda Corbishley 
Coricopat Jürgen Wallraff 
Demeter Sabine Hettlich 
Grizabella Andrea Bögel 
Jellylorum / Griddlebone Nancy Nordine 
Jenny Fleckenfell / Gumbie Katz Karin Ploog 
Mistoffelees Paul Porter 
Mungojerrie Steve Kadel 
Munkustrap Hartwig Rudolz 
Old Deuteronomy Walter Reynolds 
Plato / Macavity Eric Clausell 
Pouncival Adam Horton 
Rum Tum Tugger Fred Butter 
Rumpleteazer Janette Froud 
Sillabub Pauline Cooke
Skimbleshanks Paul Keller 
Tantomile Sharlie Pryce 
Tumblebrutus Juca Dumont 
Victoria Barbara Wäldele
Swing Alan Stuart
Swing Eddie Jordan
Swing Ferdinand Lundahl
Swing Hans Langen
Swing John Wiseman
Swing Ulrich Talle
Swing Denise Norton
Swing Evelyn Hanack
Swing Jutta Elenz
Swing Morenike Fadayomi
Swing Sabina Schneebeli
Swing Susanna Bottinger

Further Hamburg Casts


Original Cast

August 1991