How to live a jellicle life: life lessons from the 2019 hit musical ‘cats’ is as bonkers as it sounds, whilst still adding to the philosophical debate on how to live a good life. It is absolutely guaranteed that you’ve never seen a TED Talk quite like it. Whilst the title itself is borderline ridiculous, Linus Karp provides a measured, step-by-step argument about what it means to be jellicle and the character traits and actions needed to live life jellicle-ey.
A celebration of positivity and love for the little hyperfixations that make us the beautiful, weird people that we are
This show is completely accessible even if you haven’t seen the movie Cats, as Karp explains the plot and characters, spouting facts and tongue-in-cheek jokes as he goes. This show is essentially a step by step analysis of the movie and any conspiracy theories Karp finds applicable. It’s such a self-aware show, and the comedic element is completely sold by Karp’s delivery and general panache for performance. He delivers his presentation a completely serious manner, almost easing us into the jokes itself. Karp shows a clear command of theatre, incorporating different styles into his performance including dance, music and science into a kind of stand-up monologue or comedy lecture. Through his appreciation and dissection of the film, Karp makes Cats seem more watchable than its reputation and the internet would suggest, and we get a real grasp of the characters and in-jokes that we need to understand. He provides an in-depth, almost philosophical analysis on how to live a good – or in this case jellicle – life in such a way that even Aristotle and Plato wouldn’t be able to live up to. It's a lot of fun, because there's a dry sort of awareness that the show is meant to be silly, and Karp frequently embraces this within his performance, and this helps to misdirect our expectations as it comes around to a very wholesome message about love, acceptance and how to be a good person, which is sorely lacking in this day and age. This show is a celebration of positivity and love for the little hyperfixations that make us the beautiful, weird people that we are.
Weird and wonderful, how to live a jellicle life: life lessons from the 2019 musical ‘cats’ is unlike anything on this year’s Fringe. Loving this show is by definition, jellicle.