A first glimpse into the set of Cats features world-class ballet, digitally created fur and Taylor Swift wistfully recalling her first steps in showbusiness.

The video, titled A Look Inside, introduces the forthcoming film’s star-studded cast of Swift, James Corden, Dame Judi Dench, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Sir Ian McKellen and Rebel Wilson among others.

Dame Judi tells how being cast in Tom Hooper’s film adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical gave her a second chance.

“I was cast in 1981. Just before we opened I snapped my Achilles tendon and I thought that was my history with Cats,” she says during a behind-the-scenes interview.

“But it turns out not to be. It’s a kind of Alice In Wonderland experience.”

Dame Judi was to play Grizabella in the original West End production, but the injury forced her to withdraw for good.

Swift, who is playing a character named Bombalurina, reveals she came straight off her Reputation stadium tour into rehearsals.

Judi Dench discusses her eyesight
Dame Judi Dench (Isabel Infantes/PA)

She says: “My first memories of performance go back to when I was in Pennsylvania growing up.

“My favourite thing was getting to be theatrical, to tell a story and I’ve always brought that narrative element to my live shows.”

She added: “This musical is timeless and we’ve got to update it in ways that are just so, so great.”

The cast also tell how they attended “cat school”, where they learned how to mimic the physical and behavioural traits of their feline counterparts.

The production is also using technology to add virtual fur to each of the actors’ bodies.

In one clip, director Hooper suggests the “timely story” will explore “inclusion and redemption”.

Another also introduces Royal Ballet principal dancer Francesca Hayward, who is making her feature film debut.

Cats is out on December 20.