Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 8th 2014 Contents A29
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The hit musical Cats looks
set to include a rapping feline
when it returns to London's
West End this year.
Composer Andrew Lloyd
Webber said the character of
Rum Tum Tugger would
become "a street cat" in the
Cats, which has not been
seen in London for 14 years, is
based on TS Eliot's Old
Possum's Book of Practical
"I've come to the conclusion
having re-read Eliot, that
maybe Eliot was the inventor
of rap," Lord Lloyd-Webber said.
He said he had also
"completely rewritten" the
song Growltiger's Last Stand
because "it was never my
favourite moment of the
The composer was speaking
at a launch event at the
London Palladium yesterday,
where Cats will run for 12
weeks from December 6.
The musical has been seen
by more than 50 million people
in more than 30 countries since
it premiered in 1981. It ran for
21 years in London and 18
years on Broadway. It is
currently on a UK tour. (BBC)
Cats musical to feature rapping cat
The Sammy daughters looked pleased as
punch, if a little shy, as they made their way
to the stage to accept their prize for Best His-
toric Restoration Project (Small) at the fourth
Biennial National Heritage Preservation Awards
at the Knowsley Building on June 27.
After the event, hosted by Paolo Kernahan,
Minister of National Diversity and Social Inte-
gration Rodger Samuel and Dr Kumar Mahabir,
interim chairman of the National Trust, they
posed for pictures.
The mystery surrounding the incredible trans-
formation of the Boissiere House, for which they
were awarded, is part of the fascination of the
One day it was a dilapidated mess, then,
seemingly the next day, it was shiny and brand
The awards were handed out to the owners
of various properties, the people who have
coughed up money.
The ceremony, televised live on CNMG, was
trimmed down and delivered in a straight-to-
the-point fashion, with no discussion of how
these projects were undertaken. For heritage
enthusiasts, these details would have
been nice to know.
If the point of the awards was to encourage
people to be more "concerned and involved"
with heritage preservation, as the honorable
minister said in an interview, it would have ben-
efitted this cause if viewers watching at home
had something to sink their teeth into---hints
and tips on how to do it themselves.
The awards will also throw up the inevitable
question: if a privately-owned property can be
restored as quickly and brilliantly as Boissiere
House, why is the nation still waiting for the
Red House, President s House and Mille Fleurs
to be returned to their former glories?
Is it lack of budget?
"The budget is hefty. But there is never enough
money," said Samuel on the phone from the
Ministry s new home on Wrightson Road. "You
can never have enough money for heritage
preservation. It s a very expensive hobby."
The word "hobby" is, perhaps, accurate if a
little alarming. The National Trust, the respon-
sibility of Samuel s ministry, has only two
employees and a small group of, mostly elderly,
volunteers. Compared to other countries, where
heritage is taken more seriously, T&T s National
Trust lacks the financial backing of central gov-
"Other countries have enough money to
acquire heritage properties, "says Rawle Mitchell
of the Historical Restoration Unit, part of the
Ministry of Works and Infrastructure. "Here,
we have the authority under the 1991 National
Heritage Act, but no money to do it."
"Money is allocated from the central budget,
but I can t divulge how much that is," he said,
before warning that, "Government has to buy
in to heritage, particularly for the sake of tourism
as an alternative industry to gas and oil. Heritage
is a viable and sustainable industry.
All countries are currently clinging to it. Coun-
tries which have the history of human civilisation
are right now at war and under threat," he con-
tinued, referring to Syria, Iraq and other turbulent
Middle Eastern states. "That should be an advan-
tage to T&T. People looking for alternative
places to visit are considering the Caribbean.
The climate is perfect for walking tours and
T&T has the most diverse heritage properties
in the region."
But who can be blamed for the problems
with our crumbling built heritage?
Somebody, somewhere with their hands on
the purse strings of central government must
surely wake up to what is being risked and lost,
As Mitchell says, when the natural energy
resources run out it may be too late to turn to
the other assets the country has to offer to gen-
If the leader of the opposition, Dr Keith Rowley,
is elected in 2015 it appears Samuel s ministry
may even be disbanded. Rowley labelled it as
"nonsense" a fortnight ago and indicated it
would cease to exist. In response, Samuel issued
a strong rebuttal.
Last week he said in an interview, "Rowley
has no clue what the ministry is about and no
idea what it requires to preserve the nation s
"Look around and you will see the
state of our heritage," he continued,
citing the failure of successive govern-
ments to address the situation.
"The remit to protect heritage has
not been a priority for the past 30
to 40 years.
wins National Heritage Preservation award
Boissiere House before its
restoration by the Sammy family.
• Continues on Page A30
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