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Gus: the theatre cat

(with Sir John Gielgud)

Sarah

Gus is the cat at the theatre door

His name, as I ought to have told you before

Is really Asparagus, but that's a fuss to pronounce

That we usually call him just Gus

His coat's very shabby, he's thin as a rake

And he suffers from palsy that makes his paw shake

For he was in his youth quite the smartest of cats

But no longer a terror to mice or to rats



For he isn't the cat that he was in his prime

Though his name was quite famous, he says, in his time

And whenever he joins his friends at their club

(Which takes place at the back of the neighbouring pub)

He loves to regale them, if someone else pays

With anecdotes drawn from his palmiest days

For he once was a star of the highest degree

He has acted with Irving, he's acted with Tree

And he likes to relate his success on the halls

Where the gallery once gave him seven cat calls

But his grandest creation as he loves to tell

Was Firefrorefiddle, the fiend of the fell





Sir John

I have played in my time every possible part

And I used to know seventy speeches by heart

I'd extemporize backchat, I knew how to gag

And I knew how to let the cat out of the bag

I knew how to act with my back and my tail

With an hour of rehearsal, I never could fail

I'd a voice that would soften the hardest of hearts

Whether I took the lead, or in character parts

I have sat by the bedside of poor little Nell

When the curfew was rung then I swung on the bell

In the pantomime season, I never fell flat

And I once understudied Dick Whittington's cat

But my grandest creation, as history will tell

was Firefrorefiddle, the fiend of the fell



Sarah

Then, if someone will give him a toothful of gin

He will tell how he once played a part in East Lynne

At a Shakespeare performance he once walked on pat

When some actor suggested the need for a cat



Sir John

And I say now these kittens, they do not get trained

As we did in the days when Victoria reigned

They never get drilled in a regular troupe

And they think they are smart just to jump through a hoop



Sarah

And he says as he scratches himself with his claws



Sir John

Well the theatre is certainly not what is was

These modern productions are all very well

But there's nothing to equal from what I hear tell

That moment of mystery when I made history

As Firefrorefiddle, the fiend of the fell

Сара Брайтман

Gus: the theatre cat / Сара Брайтман

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