TV presenter and comedian Graham Norton is to take the role of Albin in the London stage production of La Cage Aux Folles.
Following the successful West End transfer of The Menier Chocolate Factory’s record-breaking production, the camp musical comedy will extend its run at the Playhouse Theatre.
Mr Norton will join the production on January 19th.
Although best-known for his TV appearances, the Irish star trained at Central School of Speech and Drama.
His previous acting work includes Father Noel in Father Ted, Puckov in Another Gay Movie and Taylor in I Could Never Be Your Woman.
Mr Norton, one of the most prominent gay men in the UK, has won numerous awards including four Best Entertainment Performance BAFTAs, Best Talk Show at the National Television Awards, Best TV Comedy Personality and Best Talk Show at the British Comedy Awards, and an International Emmy in the Popular Arts Category.
In La Cage aux Folles he will star as the flamboyant and loveable Albin, whose idyllic existence with partner Georges is threatened when Georges’ son announces his engagement to the daughter of a right-wing politician who wants to close down the local nightlife – and their Saint Tropez drag nightclub.
The 1973 original French play made into a French film in 1978 and was later adapted for Hollywood as The Birdcage in 1996, starring Robin Williams as George and Nathan Lane as Albin.
The original US production of La Cage aux Folles opened at the Palace Theatre on Broadway on 21st August, 1983 where it became the biggest new American musical of the decade.
It ran for 1,761 performances and won six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book of a Musical. The show’s song I Am What I Am became an instant hit in the pop charts and was recorded by a variety of artists, including Gloria Gaynor and Shirley Bassey.
Graham Norton will be performing in La Cage Aux Folles until April 25th, but there are 10 dates when he will not be appearing due to TV commitments.
On December 17th La Cage aux Folles will be featured on the Royal Variety Performance on BBC 1.