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The Theatre Joins the Cat Trail

The Theatre Joins the Cat Trail

posted 22 Apr 2022

Statues of cats have been placed on buildings in York for around two Centuries. The original cat statues were placed on buildings to frighten away rats and mice, which could carry plague and illness. They were also thought to ward off wandering evil spirits and generally to bestow good luck and good health on citizens. 

The new theatre cat, named Gus after the character in TS Elliot’s 'Old Possum’s Book of Cats', Andrew Lloyd Webber’s inspiration for Cats The Musical, can be found climbing the front of the theatre building. 

Stan Young, author of ‘The Mystery Cats of York’ said: “The Joseph Rowntree Theatre is a very iconic building in York. Not only was it created by the Rowntree family, but it is also York’s only Art Deco Theatre. The theatre made a great decision installing the cat, which was made by York sculptor, Jonathan Newdick.” 

Graham Mitchell, Joseph Rowntree Theatre Trustee, said: “We may be a mile away from the nearest York Mystery Cat on Goodramgate, but we hope that people will visit us in the Rowntree/Nestle Conservation Area. The Rowntree Society have many Rowntree related walks that can be found on their website, and we also offer theatre tours.”

Be Amazing Arts will be performing Cats on our stage from 25 to 26 June. Find out more.