Together with Mungojerrie she performs the song Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer, bar in the original Broadway production.
Her name has several spellings; the original poem gives her name as Rumpelteazer whilst the 1998 movie credits give it as Rumpleteazer.
The role of Rumpleteazer was originated in London by child star Bonnie Langford. In the initial Broadway transfer of the show, the role of Rumpleteazer was cut. Instead, Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer is narrated by Mistoffelees and performed by Etcetera and Coricopat as entertainment for Bustopher Jones.
This was revised to the more normal running order of Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer being characters in their own right. The role that had been Etcetera became Rumpleteazer permanently.
She is shown as a young, high-energy, mischievous character. Many productions show her as a teenager or kitten. Rumpleteazer sometimes joins the other kittens as they swoon over Rum Tum Tugger. She is rarely shown doing this in the film, but often in smaller productions. She also will sometimes takes Etcetera's hysterical squealing role if there isn't an Etcetera in the production. It is suggested that she live in a house with a family of the middle or upper class. Even though she gets into trouble no one (cats or humans) seem to hold a grudge against her.
- "Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer. Male-female duo. Strong dancers with acrobatic ability and excellent voices. High baritone for Mungojerrie and high belt for Rumpleteazer. Lots of personality, young, full of energy, impudent and cheeky."
Rumpleteazer can be considered one of the main characters in the show; she shares a song with Mungojerrie (aptly named "Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer") as well as having a role in "The Aweful Battle of the Pekes and the Pollicles" in the film. Rumpleteazer, along with Mungojerrie, are portrayed has having just made the transition from kittenhood to teenagehood, seeing how childish the can both be.
According to film actor Jo Gibb, "Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer are the two naughtiest cats...We're always doing what we shouldn't, being where she shouldn't be, getting up to mischief, and creating a hassle for everyone else. But [Rumpleteazer's] lovable at the same time as being naughty and cheeky. She's always getting a clip around the ear from the older cats, but they like her."
Rumpleteazer is an orange, brown, and black tiger tabby cat.
Her song costume consists of tights, a garter and a leotard in bright calico colours and a string of stolen Woolworth pearls worn around her neck. She sometimes wears a diamond collar or a belt.
In Broadway and subsequent productions, her colouring is much more muted and comparable to Etcetera rather than the strong white/ginger/black colours of London/video influenced productions.
In the original London production, Rumpleteazer actors wore their hair in short pigtails. Some productions still replicate this, but instead use wigs.
- In the original poem of Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer, Rumpleteazer was possibly intended to be a Tom cat.
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