This article is about the original Rum Tum Tugger. For the short-lived rapping character, see Rum Tum Tugger (Street Cat).
The Rum Tum Tugger is a principal character in the musical Cats. He is the rock-star of the tribe, a wild anarchic energy adored by the younger characters, and tolerated by those older. Apart from his own number, he also features singing "The Magical Mister Mistoffelees".
|“||Vain, Perverse, Inconsequent||”|
Rum Tum Tugger is a show off, often trying to attract attention when it is not focused on him, and revelling in it when it is. Many of the kittens and Queens are fans of his charisma, however the more mature characters are impatient with his escapades, especially Munkustrap, Demeter, and Mistoffelees.
He is indecisive and demanding, and only likes "what he finds for himself". There is nothing he "enjoys like a horrible muddle".
|“||The rock star. Should have a strong, raw rock voice, be able to move well, and must have a wild sex appeal - with a sense of humour. Playing age: 25-30.||”|
Tugger is a principal singing role and a major character part, and dancing ability is less important for the actor than his singing and character acting. The amount Tugger dances in the show varies according to the actor's ability, but he usually has a featured section in The Ball. He sings solo in The Rum Tum Tugger and Magical Mister Mistoffelees, and sings in Old Deuteronomy with Munkustrap.
Initially he has no time for Grizabella and considers her a threat, but after she sings "Memory" he understands her plight.
Tugger plays one of the Pirate crew in "Growltiger's Last Stand".
The Rum Tum Tugger is a primarily black cat with a remarkably large golden mane and leopard spots in patches on his chest, arms, and legs, which suggest a dark tabby coat pattern. He channels the rock n'roll styles of the 1950s/60s with his leather belt, gloves and quiff. The Japanese production initially made Tugger a more direct reference to Elvis, emulating his iconic fringed white jumpsuit while still retaining Tugger's large fluffy mane.
Tugger initially appears in Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats in a plainer version of his costume, with a neat, short wig, no mane, and dark warmers covering his golden lower legs. This "Chorus Tugger" costume is used for the Street Cat as well, although he has a different unitard for the rest of the show. In the Broadway Revival, Tugger wears an entirely different ensemble costume during Jellicle Songs, consisting of brown and black stripes not unlike some Mungojerrie costumes named "Bill Bailey" (unrelated to the ensemble character Bill-Bailey).
A raucous, energetic rock song, "The Rum Tum Tugger" is a song about Tugger's contradicting, self-loving ways, and how everyone still loves him for it.
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