Mungojerrie

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For the British rock band, see Mungo Jerry.
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, Rumpleteazer, 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", where he is 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 that vary by which version of the song is performed: a vest and stockings for Mungojerrie and a leotard and stockings for original Rumpleteazer, or pearls for the modern Rumpleteazer. This has the effect of making them appear almost identically marked. He is almost always seen with his partner in crime, Rumpleteazer; He also seen acting as dogs with her in "The Awefull Battle of the Pekes and the Pollicles".

The musical[edit]

Onstage, Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer are usually costumed as orange, black and brown calico cats. Their relation, be it siblings, friends or mates, is unknown. Three distinct versions of the "Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer" music exist: the original London production's version has a slower tempo, and different costumes, one is sung by Mr. Mistoffelees and more jazz-like sound, while the more common version is upbeat.

Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote a new setting of the song "Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer" for the original Broadway production, in which 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 boot (trunk) of a car through 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 and Christine Langner.

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. As of the ending of 2014, Fort Lauderdale Children's Theatre is in the process of Cats where Mungojerrie is portrayed by Brendan Hardie. In Bahrain's production of Cats, Mungojerrie is portrayed by Deema Turkomani. Mungojerrie is played by Jess LeProtto in the 2016 Broadway Revival.

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]