Carbucketty is an ensemble character in the musical Cats. He is usually portrayed as a mischievous tom kitten, with the role primarily being that of a dancer and acrobat.
|“||Acrobatic, Energetic, Accident-prone||”|
Carbucketty is usually portrayed as a young, troublesome, fun-loving kitten. He is often seen causing trouble or messing about with the other kittens such as Bill Bailey, Electra, and Etcetera. The other cats sometimes find him bothersome, shooing him off when he gets in their way.
Carbucketty is sometimes played older in productions that include both him and Pouncival. For example, Giuseppe Bausilio specified that in the Broadway revival, Carbucketty is a teenage cat whereas Pouncival is the young kitten. Even then, Carbucketty was still depicted as one of the more mischievous and impressionable characters who wasn't taken seriously by the other cats.
|“||Dancer with very good classical ballet training. Confident baritone to F. Youthful and not too tall.||”|
Carbucketty is principally a dance role, with the performer also usually being a strong acrobat. His dancing is featured quite prominently during the "Jellicle Ball". He also typically plays the lead Pollicle in "The Awefull Battle of the Pekes and the Pollicles".
In "The Old Gumbie Cat", the character is seen trouble-making while dressed up as a beetle. During Grizabella's first entrance, Carbucketty - egged on by Bill Bailey and Admetus - tricks her into coming close to him so that he can scratch her. He gets up to no good again during Grizabella's second entrance, this time shoving her.
Carbucketty appeared in both the original London and Broadway productions. In 1987 however, the Broadway show was reworked to remove the "trash puppet" versions of Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer, and the character was replaced by an ensemble Mungojerrie. The actor who played Mungojerrie after the show was reworked, Ray Roderick, had played Carbucketty for over a year prior.
The actor playing Carbucketty is usually the first understudy for Mistoffelees, and so is a strong ballet dancer as well as being able to pull off a mischievous kitten.
In most Australian style productions, Carbucketty was an occasional chorus cat/on-stage swing of variable costume design. When the London revival changes were imported in 2015 however, Carbucketty was added as a full, understudied character, in addition to Pouncival. However, Pouncival retained all of his original featured dance parts and character, while Carbucketty became the sixth member of Growltiger's crew, effectively switching the names from the London revival roles.
The name "Carbucketty" was invented by T S Eliot for a "knockabout cat", whereby knockabout means "rough and boisterous" or "slapstick comedy". The name itself is some blend of "car" and "bucket", which the Japanese production suggests could be a reference to car (bucket) headlamps.
His name is sometimes spelled as "Carbuckety".
The following names have also been used for the character of Carbucketty in various international productions:
Carbucketty is a small, scruffy, Tabby and White kitten, with gold/brown/black stripes and hatching on a pale base. He usually has a distinctive light brown patch over his left eye.
Since the 1998 film used the name Pouncival but the costume for Carbucketty, it has become common for productions to do likewise and use Carbucketty's stronger design for the role named Pouncival.
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- A 2018 episode of the American sitcom Young Sheldon titled "Killer Asteroids, Oklahoma, and a Frizzy Hair Machine" (S01 E16), featured the drama teacher Mr. Lundy, played by Jason Alexander, who boasts that he played Carbucketty in the Dallas-Fort Worth Players production of Cats.
- A running gag in the HBO Max series Love Life is that Anna Kendrick's character Darby played Carbucketty in her high school's production of Cats.
- From the Royal Ballet School to the Junkyard: An Interview with "Cats" star Giuseppe Bausilio, manhattandigest.com (September 1, 2016).
- "Apropos of Practical Cats", Valerie Eliot
- Carbucketty trading card, Shiki Cats (2002).