Pouncival is a character from Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical, Cats. T S Eliot liked the name ‘Pouncival’ with its Morte d’Arthur flavour, a portmanteau of "Pounce" and referencing "Sir Percival". His role is primarily that of a dancer and acrobat.
In most productions Pouncival is portrayed as a young, troublesome, fun loving kitten. He is often seen with Tumblebrutus, Electra, Etcetera and the other kittens, messing about and having fun. In the film, he is shown trouble-making while dressed up as a beetle in "The Gumbie Cat", and taunting Grizabella twice, egged on by Tumblebrutus and Plato.
|“||Dancer with very good classical ballet training. Confident baritone to F. Youthful and not too tall.||”|
The actor playing Pouncival is usually the first understudy for Mistoffelees, and so needs to be a strong ballet dancer as well as a mischievous kitten.
In many productions, Pouncival is an alternate name for the track otherwise known as Carbucketty, being one of the youngest kittens, and functioning as an understudy for Mistoffelees. He first appeared alongside Carbucketty in the Broadway production, and subsequently replaced Carbucketty in most further productions. Since the release of the filmed version of the show, it has become common for the London Carbucketty costume to be used for the role named Pouncival.
For the 2014 London Palladium production, the cast included both Carbucketty and Pouncival. However the character who appears onstage is actually George rather than a double of Carbucketty. This is the version of Pouncival used in the 2016 Broadway Revival as well.
Pouncival is a small, scruffy, Tabby and White kitten, with brown/black stripes and patches and hatching on a silver/grey base. Dependant on production, Pouncival can use one of three basic designs: his original Broadway look that was copied for the German production and others worldwide; a copy of Carbucketty based on the video's use of the London costumes with the Broadway names; or a look based on George since the Palladium production in 2014.
Broadway / Original Pouncival
Pouncival's original costume is based on one of John Napier's designs that is a variation of the design used for Admetus, but in cool silver tones. He features loose markings on his left side, shades and patches rather than distinct shapes. His makeup usually features asymmetrical eyes, with the suggestion of an eye patch or stripe on his face, realised differently to the patch on Tumblebrutus in that he has heavier eye makeup within the patch.
Film / 2000s Pouncival
The original design for Carbucketty has often been used for Pouncival. He has defined stripes on the right of his chest and his left hip, with tan patches as well as black hatching on a white/pale silver base. Carbucketty's design includes a defined eye patch that creates a strongly asymmetrical look.
George / Palladium Pouncival
The design for George has not been used in many productions as the ensemble rarely includes the extra male cast. His design features long narrow stripes on his right thigh, and strong blocks of black on his left torso. He has a particularly distinctive wig, with central white bangs, a brown patch to one side and a black patch to the other, which is echoed in his makeup with patches over each eye. He often has a brown patch or smudge on his muzzle as well.
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