Seminal dragtastic French farce La Cage aux Folles [The Play] is debuting in English for the very first time

PinkNews x Park Theatre January 29, 2020
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Famous French play La Cage aux Folles is making its English debut in the city of London. (Park Theatre)

Famous French farce La Cage aux Folles [The Play] is making its English debut in the city of London. (Park Theatre)

Bringing home the parents to meet your new fiancé is terrifying, especially when they lean a little on the conservative side.

But it might be ever so slightly scarier when your dad is the manager of a queer nightclub, and his boyfriend is the star attraction of club’s drag show.

Opening to the limousine-littered streets of Broadway in 1983, the seminal musical La Cage aux Folles was one of the first stage-shows centred on gay themes.

The musical was an adaptation of French author Jean Poiret’s 1973 play of the same name.

Poiret’s production premiered to French theatre-goers decades ago, but it has never seen an English translation of the original play made.

But for the first time, the original French farce has been translated, and the show will have its English language world premiere in London.

La Cage aux Folles [The Play] is ‘about living the life you want to live’.

Bringing dazzling drag to London’s Park Theatre is theatrical legend Simon Callow, who adapted the French script at the request of Park Theatre’s artistic director Jez Bond.

Callow has long been a supporter of the North London venue.

Michael Matus (Richard III at the National Theatre) stars as Georges and Paul Hunter (Told by an Idiot founder) as Albin for the English language premier of the play.

The cast is completed by Sarah Lam, Syrus Lowe, Peter Straker, Mark Cameron, Arthur Hughes, Simon Hepworth, Louise Bangay, Georgina Ambrey and William Nelson.

Georges’ son Laurent announces his engagement to the daughter of a notorious right-wing politician, plunging the future of the nightclub into uncertainty as the lawmaker vows to shut the place down.

The La Cage aux Folles cast at the park Theatre rehearsing. (Mark Douet)
The La Cage aux Folles [The Play] cast at the Park Theatre rehearsing. (Mark Douet)

La Cage aux Folles [The Play] is a great – and brilliantly funny – play about living the life you want to live,” explained Callow.

“It’s also a bit of an eye-opener about what it was to be out and gay in the early seventies.

“But there’s nothing remotely preachy about it – it’s zany, outrageous, mad.

“A rampant farce, and utterly life-affirming.”

It’s the first time the play has ever been performed in English. 

While Bond described how as much as progressive laws have been signed and attitudes changed, we still live in a deeply divided world.

Leads Paul Hunter (standing) and Michael Matus (seated) rehearsing at the Park Theatre. (Mark Douet)

“Nearly fifty years after it first delighted audiences in Paris, the farce that inspired four films and an award-winning musical continues to shine a light on the ridiculousness of bigotry,” he continued.

“I’m delighted to be directing this hilarious, heartfelt comedy; and to be bringing the original play to the stage for the first time ever in the English language.”

La Cage aux Folles [The Play] is running from February 12 to March 21 at Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park, N4 3JP. 

Tickets cost from £18.50 and can be booked here



More: drag, La Cage aux Folles, London, Park Theatre, Theatre

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