Whether you loved or loathed (it was probably the latter) the 2019 movie adaptation of the musical Cats, you probably had some quite strong feelings, and even questions, about what you had just watched. Luckily, Linus Karp brings his hit show How to Live a Jellicle Life: Life Lessons from the 2019 Hit Movie Musical Cats to Greenside @ Riddles Court this Edinburgh Fringe.
In this solo show, Linus Karp attempts to educate the audience on how they can be as jellicle as the jellicle cats. Aided by a PowerPoint presentation that unashamedly makes liberal use of the Comic Sans font, Linus talks us through the main protagonists of the movie, highlighting what exactly it is that makes them jellicle.
I’ve never really understood (nor cared enough to find out) what Cats is actually about; Elaine Paige singing ‘Memory’ and Magical Mr. Mistoffelees dropping onto the stage was all I really needed. Yet, Karp manages to summarise the plot perfectly in a very engaging flowchart.
Linus Karp, dressed in full feline lycra, is dripping with sarcasm and dry wit, each line is delivered like another wooden stake being driven into the heart of Andrew Lloyd Webber. I expected this show to be funny, but I was not expecting to come close to soiling my litter tray half way through.
At various points throughout the show Karp plays some games with the audience, to aid with the educational aspect of the show, I presume. I was underwhelmed with the jellicle name that Karp’s special formula generated for me – Jenni Drunk The Baby Cat (maybe I’m just not jellice enough) but thoroughly enjoyed the other combinations that came out.
Although a solo show, and Karp commands that stage like no one else, Linus is aided by hard working tech, Joseph Martin, who not only keeps that magnificent PowerPoint on track, but also helps to pull off some of the more impressive stunts that happen during the show.
I never dreamed that I would ever enjoy anything even remotely related to Cats, but it turns out that Linus Karp’s How To Live a Jellicle Life is the hour in which I knew what happiness was. Camp, kitsch and catnip for the soul, this show proves you don’t even need James Corden to have a hit on your hands.