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The Old Gumbie Cat

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The Old Gumbie Cat is the first musical number in the show to feature on one individual character, Jennyanydots. The Gumbie Cat sees other characters dressing up as mice and cockroaches to play along with telling her story.  Munkustrap narrates her daytime life of sitting quietly, while Bombalurina, Demeter and Jellylorum describe how busy she is at night.  

Context Edit

Munkustrap begins introducing the Gumbie Cat. The reaction from the tribe of Cats is mixed - some are excited to see her, some less so. Mistoffelees opens the car boot, and out rolls Jennyanydots in her huge house coat. Some of the kittens dress in mouse masks to sit and learn needlework from her. Before the dance break for the "Beetles' Tattoo", the trio - usually Bombalurina, Demeter and Jellylorum - remove Jenny's coat, gloves and slippers, revealing her fringed tap outfit, as a much livelier Jenny takes the lead in the tap dance.

Beetles' Tattoo Edit

The feature tap dance has been altered a number of times over the years. The original London production featured tap solo choreography by Lindsay Dolan, for Wayne Sleep's solo as Quaxo, the lead cockroach. This choreography can be seen in the rehearsal video below. The choreography was simplified and shortened in the mid-90s, with remarkably basic tap required of the ensemble.

The Palladium production saw re-written music for the tap sequence and choreography by Bill Deamer, which is technically far more impressive but does not convey a story about naughty cockroaches or feature anything "Cats" inspired.

LyricsEdit

Munkustrap:
I have a Gumbie Cat in mind, her name is Jennyanydots.
Her coat is of the tabby kind with tiger stripes and leopard spots.
All day she sits beneath the stairs or on the steps or on the mat:
She sits and sits and sits and sits - and that's what makes a gumbie cat,
That's what makes a Gumbie Cat.

Trio:

But when the day's hustle and bustle is done
Then the Gumbie Cat's work is but hardly begun.
And when all the family's in bed and asleep,
She tucks up her skirts to the basement to creep.
She is deeply concerned with the ways of the mice -

Jenny:

Their behaviour's not good and their manners not nice.

Trio:

So when she has got them lined up on the matting,
She teaches them -

Jenny:

Music, crocheting and tatting.

Munkustrap:
I have a Gumbie Cat in mind, her name is:

Trio:
Jennyanydots;

Munkustrap:
Her equal would be hard to find, she likes the warm and sunny spots.
All day she sits beside the hearth or in the sun or on my hat:
She sits and sits and sits and sits - and that's what make a Gumbie Cat!

Trio:

But when the day's hustle and bustle is done,
Then the Gumbie Cat's work is but hardly begun.
As she finds that the mice will not ever keep quiet,
She is sure it is due to:

Jenny:

Irregular diet!

Trio:

And believing that:

Jenny:

Nothing is done without trying!

Trio:

She sets right to work with her baking and frying.
She makes them a mouse-cake of bread and dried peas,
And a beautiful fry of lean bacon and cheese.

Munkustrap:
I have a Gumbie Cat in mind, Her name is Jennyanydots.
The curtain cord she likes to wind, and tie it into sailor-knots.
She sits upon the window-sill, or anything that's smooth and flat:
She sits and sits and sits and sits - and that's what makes a Gumbie Cat.
That's what makes a Gumbie Cat!

Trio:

But when the day's hustle and bustle is done,
Then the Gumbie Cat's work is but hardly begun.
She thinks that the cockroaches:

Jenny:
"Just need employment

To prevent them from idle and wanton destroyment"

Trio:

So she's formed, from that lot of disorderly louts,
A troop of well-disciplined helpful boy scouts,

Jenny:

With a purpose in life and a good deed to do -

Trio:

And she's even created a beetles tattoo!

So for Old Gumbie Cats let us now give three cheers -
On whom well-ordered households depend, it appears.

For she's a jolly good fellow!

Jenny:

Thank you my dears!

VideoEdit

The Old Gumbie Cat04:20

The Old Gumbie Cat

The 1998 video unfortunately has significant cuts to this number, resulting in a lot of missing choreography and characters apparently jumping in out of nowhere.

Gumby Tap - London 199406:24

Gumby Tap - London 1994

Full version of the Gumbie Cat, including tap duel with Mistoffelees, London 1994

Gallery Edit

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