Are you living a jellicle life? Wait, no – I have to backtrack to the question: What exactly is a jellicle life? That is the question that comedian Linus Karp tries to answer at the Lion and Unicorn Theatre with his show how to live a jellicle life: life lessons from the 2019 hit movie musical ‘cats’. It is returning to London after its sold-out run in 2020.
In order to answer that significant question, we first have explore the origin of the word. Jellicle has risen to fame thanks to the Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical cats in which the cats of the upper class are considered jellicle. For those who have not seen the 2019 movie version of the hit musical Cats, Karp includes a thorough and all-encompassing summary in his one-hour long PowerPoint presentation in Comic Sans.
Jellicle cats are invited to compete in a jellicle musical contest (The Jellicle Ball) to gain entry to the Heaviside Layer and be reborn. Illustrated with arrows, gifs and cute cat imagery, Karp does a deep dive into this important piece of art. And the rest of how to live a jellicle life: life lessons from the 2019 hit movie musical ‘cats’ follows a similar pattern. One after the other, Karp introduces us to all the characters appearing in the 2019 hit musical cats and analyses their jellicle-ness. Enjoying theatre, not breaking every human law, not being transphobic, and of course not being James Corden are among the many things that make you jellicle.
how to live a jellicle life: life lessons from the 2019 hit movie musical ‘cats’ is not much more than a well-prepared presentation on Cats, a comedian who has recently suffered from a vocal cord injury standing in front of a projector screen, and a narrator (Sam Carlyle) explaining the importance of jellicle-ness through the loudspeaker. It includes fun remarks, audience participation segments, and a performer who convincingly shares with us the wisdom he derived from the musical and how it changed his life (through the voice of Carlyle). And aside from the hilarious commercial break featuring Lil Nas X making his way up to the Heaviside Layer, gay friendly pop tunes, and a cameo from the original cast of Cats, there is not much else to how to live a jellicle life.
But the laughter just does not stop! Karp’s love and bizarre obsession with the controversial musical is absolutely contagious. Dressed in a furry cat suit and talking about the sex appeal of jellicle cats, Karp makes the one-man show something to remember (with or without pussies). And after all, he does come to a conclusion as to how we can make our own life truly jellicle – just don’t be James Corden.
how to live a jellicle life: life lessons from the 2019 hit movie musical ‘cats’ is playing at the Lion & Unicorn Theatre until 5 June 2021. For more information and tickets visit Lion & Unicorn Theatre online.