Leading lady of West End and Broadway musicals, Kerry Ellis has recorded a new version of the anthemic ‘Memory’ from ‘Cats’. The new lyrics by award-winning writer Jon Monie are both witty and emotive, and littered with theatre references from pantomime to Shakespeare, ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ to ‘Singin’ in the Rain’.
The song is being released to raise awareness of the current crisis facing the theatre industry and to support the charity Acting for Others. An accompanying video features haunting images of empty theatres from across the UK, photographs taken by the award-winning actor and photographer Bill Ward and his celebrated ‘Theatres in Danger’ project. (www.billwardphotography.co.uk/theatresindanger)
The video, first shared on Facebook, has already been viewed over 5,500 times in under 24 hours.
Jon Monie, who initiated the idea, wrote the lyrics and approached Bill and Kerry, also made the video. He says, “Whilst the government’s recent announcements regarding the proposed return of live indoor performances are hugely welcome, fully reopened venues remain several months away at best. The theatre industry will be one of the very last to return to normal and people in all areas of the business are really struggling. But we are still here, waiting in the wings.”
Kerry Ellis called the new version “very special” and Betty Buckley, the original Broadway Grizabella, described it as “beautiful”.
Performed by Kerry Ellis
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics by Jon Monie
Backing Track arranged by Ross O’Connor
Photography by Bill Ward