La Cage aux Folles

Musical by Jerry Herman, with book by Harvey Fierstein, based on the French play by Jean Poiret.

Bon soir! Welcome to the pride of St Tropez, the envy of the cabaret world, the jewel of the Riviera.... welcome to La Cage aux Folles. Georges and Albin - proprietors of this legendary cabaret club - have lived together happily for years, with Albin performing nightly as Zaza, the star drag act. But their glamorous existence is threatened when Georges' son, Jean-Michel who was brought up by them, announces his impending marriage to Anne - who happens to be the daughter of a local moral crusader and politician who wants to close down their club... Meeting the prospective in-laws has never promised to be so troublesome! Jerry Herman's La Cage aux Folles explores what it is to be a family, to love without condition and above all, to be proud of what we are.

Original West End London Production 1986

West End London Concert 1989

1st West End London Revival 2008

Jerry Herman's West End credits include Hello Dolly!, Mack and Mabel, Mame, and the musical compilation The Best of Times: The Showtunes of Jerry Herman.

Original West End London Production 1986

Previewed 22 April 1986, Opened 7 May 1986, Closed 31 January 1987 at the London Palladium

The original cast features George Hearn as 'Albin' and Denis Quilley as 'Georges', with Jonathon Morris as 'Jean-Michel', Phyllida Law as 'Jacqueline', Wendy Roe as 'Anne', Donald Waugh as 'Jacob', Mark Harris as 'Francis', Brian Glover as 'Edouard Dindon', Julia Sutton as 'Mme Dindon', Richard Owens as 'M Renaud', Shirley Greenwood as 'Mme Renaud', Sue Aldred, Kerry-Jane Beddows, Buz Butler, Stephen J Colley, Christopher Connah, Scott St Hartyn, Lisa Henson, Michael Hervieu, Ray Holland, Douglas Howe, Gareth Jones, Stephen Lubmann, Suzanne Michelle, Andrew Norman, Jeremy Rose, June Shand, Paul Telford, Luke Baxter, John Cumberlidge, Vanessa Leigh-Hicks, and Susan Nieto.

Directed by Arthur Laurents, with choreography by Scott Saleon, sets by David Hitchell, costumes Theoni V Aldredge, lighting by Jules Fisher, and sound by Philip Clifford.

The role of 'Albin' was played by George Hearn throughout the entire run.

The role of 'Georges' was played by Denis Quilley from 22 April 1986 to 10 January 1987; and by James Smillie from 12 January 1987 to 31 January 1987.

West End London Concert 1989

Sunday 22 January 1989 at the London Palladium

The cast features Walter Charles / Steve Barton / Harvey Evans as 'Albin', and Denis Quilly / Tom Urich as 'Georges', with Linda-Mae Brewer, Josephine Blake, Ian Mackenzie, Donna McKechnie, Robert Meadmore, and Wendy Roe.

Directed by Gillian Gregory, with choreography by Kenn Old Field, Richard Sampson and Gillian Gregory.

Presented in aid of Action Research for the Crippled Child.

1st West End London Revival 2008

Previewed 27 November 2007, Opened 9 January 2008, Closed 8 March 2008 at the Menier Chocolate Factory
Previewed 20 October 2008, Opened 30 October 2008, Closed 2 January 2010 at the Playhouse Theatre

A major revival of the classic Jerry Herman musical La Cage aux Folles in London

This production was originally scheduled to begin previews at the Menier Chocolate Factory on 23 November 2007, and open on 3 December 2007. Unfortunately, due to cast illness, this was delayed, as above.

The original cast at London's Menier Chocolate Factory featured Douglas Hodge as 'Albin' and Philip Quast as 'Georges', with Neil McDermott as 'Jean-Michel', Tara Hugo as 'Jacqueline', Alicia Davies a 'Anne', Jason Pennycooke as 'Jacob', Sebastien Torkia as 'Francis, Iain Mitchell as 'M Renaud'/'Edouard Dindon', Una Stubbs as 'Mme Renaud'/'Mme Dindon', Nicholas Cunningham, Lee Ellis, Nolan Frederick, Mark Inscoe, Kay Murphy, Kay Murphy, Mark John Richardson, Philip Riley, and Spencer Stafford.

The original cast at the West End's Playhouse Theatre featured Douglas Hodge as 'Albin' and Denis Lawson as 'Georges', with Stuart Neal as 'Jean-Michel', Tracie Bennett as 'Jacqueline', Alicia Davies as 'Anne', Jason Pennycooke as 'Jacob', Adrian Der Gregorian as 'Francis', Iain Mitchell as 'M Renaud'/'Edouard Dindon', Paula Wilcox as 'Mme Renaud'/'Mme Dindon', Ben Bunce, Darren Carnall, Nicholas Cuningham, Ben Deery, Nolan Frederick, Leanne Harwood, Robert Maskell, Gary Murphy, Dane Quixall, Zoe Ann Bown, Matt Krzan, Duncan Smith, and Scott Speadbury.

The lead roles at the West End's Playhouse Theatre where played by Douglas Hodge as 'Albin' and Denis Lawson as 'Georges' from Monday 20 October 2008 to Saturday 17 January 2009; Graham Norton as 'Albin' and Steven Pacey as 'Georges' from Monday 19 January 2009 to Saturday 2 May 2009; Philip Quast as 'Albin' and Roger Allam as 'Georges' from Monday 4 May 2009 to Saturday 12 September 2009; John Barrowman as 'Albin' and Simon Burke as 'Georges' from Monday 14 September 2009 to Saturday 28 November 2009; and Douglas Hodge as 'Albin' and Denis Lawson as 'Georges' from Monday 30 November 2009 to Saturday 2 January 2010.

Directed by Terry Johnson, with choreography by Lynne Page, sets by David Farley (Menier), sets by Tim Shortall (Playhouse), costumes by Matthew Wright, lighting by David Howe (Menier), lighting by Nick Richings (Playhouse), sound by Sebastian Frost (Menier), and sound by Gareth Owen (Playhouse).

"Though the pink ruched curtain at La Cage Aux Folies rises on Les Cagelles, Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein's 1983 musical is intended to be more than simply raunchy camp comedy. The louche setting is meant to work in counterpoint to the long-term romance between club owner George and his ageing 'wife' and main attraction, Albin. The pair have hit a sticky patch: their grownup son (the product of George straying off the gay and narrow) is engaged and the girl's father (a homophobic politician) is coming to stay. Flamboyant Albin is surplus to requirements. It's potentially an emotionally explosive plot. But only once does Terry Johnson's production strike a serious chord - and it's thanks to the incredible Douglas Hodge as Albin. When he sings I Am What I Am, his voice cracked and fragile, he defiantly challenges prejudice." The London Metro

"I'm as much a fan of the American remake The Birdcage as I am of the French film but the song-and-dance version, last staged in the West End in 1986, is new to me. Terry Johnson's production... only partly wins me over... I wish Johnson had had the courage to update the piece from its Seventies' roots. There is nothing in the script to prevent Georges and Albin being an entirely modern male couple and the excellent Jason Pennycooke as their 'maid' Jacob and the Cagelles dancers could be 21st-century creations. But Hodge (Albin), utterly charismatic in drag, is less confident sans wig in a tired pastiche of an effeminate gay man based somewhere between John Inman and Hilda Ogden... The show is hampered by an affinity gap with the world it purports to portray and my loyalty is still to the film versions." The Daily Express

"Based on a French play and subsequent movie, the show tells the story of a gay couple who have brought up the son of nightclub owner Georges - an accident, he insists, from the one time he tried straight sex. When son Jean-Michel decides to marry the daughter of a prudish politician, he wants his 'mum' - outrageous drag artiste Albin, played hilariously by Douglas Hodge - to stay out of sight when the potential parents-in-law come to call... Hodge steals the show, but his bravura is almost matched by La Cagelles, the gender-bending leggy chorus - five men and one girl, since you ask - whose raunchy can-can is so in-your-face that punters seated at cabaret-style tables near the front become part of the cast. Daring and controversial in an era that was still suffering the shockwaves of the Aids epidemic, La Cage Aux Folles is less risky but just as much fun today. As its hit song says, The Best Of Times Is Now." The Sun

La Cage aux Folles in London at the Playhouse Theatre in London previewed from 20 October 2008, opened on 30 October 2008 and closed on 2 January 2010.