Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) is going on tour

After quite an extraordinary break of 33 years, Yusuf, the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens, strolls back on the stage. It’s been a long wait, and fans are about to see why. As one would expect from such an innovative and unpredictable artist it’s not a tour in the usual sense.

The legendary singer/songwriter is expected to offer audiences a taste of his timeless hits, like Wild World, Father & Son and First Cut Is The Deepest, as well as music from his highly acclaimed new albums, An Other Cup and Roadsinger. Expanding the music concert with his return to the acoustic guitar, Yusuf will present a preview of the latest step on his lifelong voyage. Incorporating an exciting mix of concert and musical storytelling, Yusuf's unique performance will also showcase an exclusive debut of the new musical, Moonshadow.

"My songs always told a story, so it's natural for me to extend that into a stage musical form." Yusuf said. "It's taken a long time to arrive, but it's always been a dream of mine to write a musical. Growing up in the West End of London, surrounded by theatres and shows, obviously left a strong impression on me. I originally wanted to be a composer, not a pop star." Strange how it's taken almost a lifetime, but it had to - the story is somewhat a metaphorical mirror of my own journey, so I suppose it had to wait to reach where I am today."

Arguably the greatest singer/songwriter to come out of the UK and one with a truly global following, Yusuf has certainly taken his time with these dates. He last toured with his Majikat shows in 1976, apart from a couple of intimate performances - events such as his incredible performance for Island Records’ 50th celebrations at Shepherds Bush Empire in May where U2 paid respects and became his support act! The reception obviously inspired him. This usually retiring performer is now primed to embark on another selective tour of UK and Ireland.

The four city tour will commence in Dublin and continue to Birmingham, Liverpool and end in London at the Royal Albert Hall.

Yusuf has asked Harvey Goldsmith CBE to manage this project. Harvey has been working with Yusuf to create this first presentation in many years.

'I have worked with Cat Stevens on his original tours and promoted his last Majikat Tour. Since then I have been in contact with Yusuf and persuaded him to appear at the Live Earth concert in Hamburg where his performance went down a storm. We reconnected earlier this year when he described his plans for Moonshadow the Musical. From that point we began to formulate his re-entrance into live music. Yusuf wanted this 'return' to be different and exciting for his fans. So we created a show that could show him at his best and also incorporate his new project – the musical. Ever since he was a young 'cat' growing up playing around the alleyways of Drury Lane he's been influenced by the theatre. With Moonshadow, he has woven songs old and new into a beautiful story of a boy named Stormy. It's an enchanting and inspired tale which is underpinned by a narrative about life's journey, a theme Yusuf knows more about than most. I am thrilled to be working with Yusuf on the first of our re-collaborations.'

The musical director of 'Moonshadow' is Christopher Nightingale, who has previously worked on the Lord of The Rings Musical and Bombay Dreams alongside A.R. Rahman. The choreographer Nichola Treherne was behind box office smashes from Starlight Express to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Auditions have been taking place for weeks and the show itself will involve a cast of approximately twenty people as well as six musicians including guitarist Alun Davies who actually played on the seminal album 'Tea for the Tillerman'. Renowned Lighting designer Mark Brickman is designing the stage and lighting. He lit Pink Floyd’s 'The Wall' and is currently designing Cirque du Soleil’s new show in Las Vegas.

Yusuf has sold over 60 million albums since his first hit I Love My Dog while he was still a teenager. Struck down with tuberculosis at the height of his pop success in 1968, he re-emerged in 1970 with a new, more reflective style on the album Mona Bone Jakon and followed with 'Tea For The Tillerman' (1970) and 'Teaser And The Firecat' (1971), albums that defined the singer-songwriter genre and inspired a generation.


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