Demeter is a principal character in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats. Her name is mentioned in "The Naming of Cats" musical number. Within the plot of the show, she is often the target of Macavity's attacks, due to her unspecified past with him.
|“||skittish, cautious, paranoid||”|
Demeter can be very anxious and anything that startles her could make her think Macavity is around.
Cats Choreographer Gillian Lynne elaborated on their relationship in a 1981 documentary:
"She's [Demeter's] saying 'The man was wonderful when he made love to me, but I hated him!' isn't she? ... I'd actually like your [Demeter's] hands to feel your [her] own body, as he once did."
She is either the sister or best friend of Bombalurina, the exact nature of their relationship is not specified within the show; Bombalurina is her strongest protector and comfort for the duration of the musical. In most replica productions, by the end of the show she forms a relationship with either Munkustrap or Alonzo, showing affection throughout the show, and staying close to him after the fight with Macavity.
In some versions such as the film, She finds outgoing, vain toms such as Rum Tum Tugger to be intimidating, and shows no interest in his showing off. However, in other productions she is as enthused about him as as other female characters her age.
|“||Bombalurina's best friend, and sings the other half of the Macavity duet. Excellent dancer/singer. On the one hand neurotic and wild, on the other very intuitive. Minimum height 5'4. Playing age: 20 - 30.||”|
Demeter sings the trio in The Gumbie Cat with Bombalurina and Jellylorum, and solo when she sings the verse in Grizabella the Glamour Cat. Her biggest part is in Macavity the Mystery Cat in which she sings and dances with Bombalurina. She is usually played by a mezzo soprano or alto singer.
She is the focus of Macavity's attack - he appears disguised as Old Deuteronomy to infiltrate the tribe, and Demeter is the only cat to realise the deception. At one point in the London production, lines of speech were added to clarify the action in the show, Macavity saying to Demeter "I'll be back for you!" while kidnapping Old Deuteronomy.
The fight between Macavity and Munkustrap (and sometimes, Alonzo,) is started by Macavity attempting to kidnap Demeter from the tribe. In some productions, starting from Broadway, Munkustrap is knocked out of the fight early on, and it is Alonzo who takes the majority of the fight. In these productions it is often suggested that Demeter and Alonzo are a couple. Otherwise, Demeter is generally paired with Munkustrap after Macavity's attack, such as in the video.
She is one of the few cats to attempt to welcome Grizabella and sings part of Grizabella the Glamour Cat, but cannot bring herself to fully accept her until after "Memory".
Demeter is black and gold/yellow with a white bib, and wears gloves instead of arm warmers. Her wig is often wild and fluffy. In some productions, she has larger patches of red/ginger among the gold and yellow tones. Her costume demonstrates her conflict - she is both an elegant queen, ladylike and beautiful, and a tortured, skittish, unhappy soul. She is usually portrayed as an adult.
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