Mungojerrie

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Agnieszka Mrozińska as Rumpleteazer (left) and Bartosz Figurski as Mungojerrie in the Polish production of Cats, 2007.

Mungojerrie is a fictional character in T. S. Eliot's book, Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats which was adapted into the musical Cats.

Characteristics[edit]

Mungojerrie and his partner in crime, Rumpelteazer, specialize in petty theft and mischief. In Eliot's original poem "Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer", they are depicted knocking over Ming vases and stealing items from their human family. Mungojerrie is also mentioned in the poem "Macavity, the Mystery Cat" as being rumoured to be one of Macavity's agents.

Description[edit]

In the musical version of Eliot's cat poems, Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer are traditionally depicted as orange, black, and white calico or tabby cats. In the original Broadway production, they wore baggy clown-like costumes seemingly made of various food wrappers as characters performing for Bustopher Jones. Generally, Mungojerrie's costume is a darker, more heavily striped tabby pattern, while Rumpleteazer is paler. However, when they perform their solo song, they have additional costume pieces: a vest and stockings for Mungojerrie and a leotard and stockings for Rumpleteazer (in some shows she also has a pearl necklace on). This has the effect of making them appear almost identically marked. He is o most always seen with his partner in crime, Rumpelteaszer; He also seen barking at her in The Awefull Battle of the Pekes and the Pollicles.

The Musical[edit]

Onstage, Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer are usually costumed as orange, black and brown calico cats. They are not related at all, In-fact, Some fan's think they might be mates and that there coat colors are just equidistantly the same. Rumpleteazer is a little bit younger than Mungojerrie.[citation needed]

Two distinct versions of the "Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer" music exist: the original London production's version has a slower tempo and more jazz-like sound, while the more common version is upbeat.

Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote a new setting of the song "Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer" for the original Broadway production, and the song was sung by Mr. Mistoffelees, while the actors playing Coricopat (Rene Clemente) and Etcetera Christine Langner danced the song as "dolls" made of junk, brought to life, and appearing out of the trunk (boot) of the car set piece, by the magic of Mr. Mistoffelees. In 1987, the Broadway production was re-worked and the song was given back to the characters of Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer, then played by Ray Roderick (who had formerly been the character Carbuckety) and Christine Langner, whose role of Etcetera was replaced by Rumpelteazer.

Players[edit]

Mungojerrie was portrayed by Drew Varley in the 1998 CATS Film, and John Thornton in the original London cast, and is now played by Daniel Switzer in the North American Tour. In the original Broadway production he was played by Rene Clemente, who also played Coricopat.

Cultural references[edit]

  • A cat in Dean Koontz's Christopher Snow series is also named Mungojerrie.
  • The skiffle band, Mungo Jerry, most famous for their hit "In the Summertime," is named after this character.
  • Richard Adams alludes to Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer in his 1977 novel The Plague Dogs.
  • The University of Kent has a college named after T.S Eliot, and the college bar is called Mungo's.
  • In the 2005 film Serenity, one of the twin fences is Mingo, short for Mingojerry - as his mother had mis-remembered Mungojerrie.

External links[edit]