Old Deuteronomy is the patriarch character from the musical, Cats.


Wise, Commanding, Spiritual

Old Deuteronomy is considered to be a kind and just leader to the Jellicle Tribe. He is described as being wise in his many years and is respected and beloved by most the of the Jellicle Tribe. While he is 'old and tottery' and 'must go slow', he is fairly lively and dances along with a variety of songs performed for him. He is one of the larger cats, though he isn't mocked for his girth like Bustopher Jones is. He is an ancient cat who has lived 'many lives in succession.' He appears to have some degree of psychic powers with which he guides the other Jellicles through dance and song.

The poem describes a bucolic English village, where he lives peacefully. He is believed to live near the vicarage, as he rests 'on the vicarage wall'. He seems to care about Grizabella's feelings, trying to accept her, but she doesn't notice until the end.

According to actor Ken Page, "He's probably the father of a lot of them."


High Baritone/Tenor (to G sharp). Must be able to move.  The wise, kind and very old leader of the cats.  He has authority and dignity. He should radiate understanding and warmth.

Old Deuteronomy is one of the main characters in the show. He is introduced in ("Old Deuteronomy"), but he also plays a major role in a number of other songs: ("The Moments of Happiness ", "Invitation to the Jellicle Ball", "The Ad-dressing of Cats".) He is kidnapped by Macavity, but brought back by Mistoffelees. He chooses Grizabella to ascend to the Heaviside Layer at the end of the show. 

In the original London production, Brian Blessed played Old Deuteronomy and Bustopher Jones, however in all other productions Old Deuteronomy is not doubled with other roles.


Old Deuteronomy is a large, old, grey cat. His wears a full, fluffy robe. His costume appears grey but is made of a mixture of greys, dull brown and black.

The actor who plays Old Deuteronomy usually appears in the ensemble during Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats. He wears an ensemble costume that resembles Munkustrap as a silver tabby, but with sparser, lighter stripes. Sometimes the actor is given looser fitting "pajama" style garments rather than a skin-tight unitard, as he is not expected to be a dancer. He is often referred to as "Young Deut" or "Chorus Deut", however the Broadway Revival has dubbed this character "Victor" (unrelated to Victor the ensemble character).


Cats 09 Old Deuteronomy

Cats 09 Old Deuteronomy

"Old Deuteronomy" as performed in the 1998 film by Ken Page, John Partridge and Michael Gruber.


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