Chocolate Factory gets La Cage for Christmas

Published April 17, 2008

Transvestite comedy musical La Cage Aux Folles is to be the next Christmas show at the Menier Chocolate Factory, previewing from 23 November, with press night on 3 December.

The comedy, based on a French play by Jean Poiret which was then made into a film, is based around a transvestite nightclub in St. Tropez, run by Albin and Georges, two middle-aged lovers. Chaos ensues when Georges’ son announces that he is getting married, and his fiancée’s ultra-conservative parents are coming for dinner…

The Chocolate Factory has scored big hits in the past with its Christmas musicals, with Sunday In The Park With George and Little Shop Of Horrors going on to successful West End transfers. Sunday In The Park With George won five Laurence Olivier Awards, including Outstanding Musical Production, and Best Actor and Actress In A Musical for its two leads, Daniel Evans and Jenna Russell.

La Cage Aux Folles will be directed by Terry Johnson, whose recent directing credits include Whipping It Up, which transferred from the Bush to the Ambassadors, Piano/Forte and Dumb Show at the Royal Court, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest at the Gielgud and the Garrick. He is also known as a writer, with work including Hitchcock Blonde and The Graduate.

The original stage production of La Cage Aux Folles opened on Broadway on 21 August 1983, running for 1,761 performances and picking up six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, along the way. Over here, the show first ran at the Palladium for 301 performances from 7 May 1986. The big number in the show, I Am What I Am, has been recorded by a plethora of artists, including Shirley Bassey, Marti Webb and Gloria Gaynor.

La Cage Aux Folles is written by Harvey Fierstein, who also wrote Torch Song Trilogy, with music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, whose credits include Hello, Dolly!, Mame, Dear World and Mack And Mabel.

It is booking at the Menier Chocolate Factory until 8 March 2008, and tickets go on sale from 10am on Tuesday 4 September.

JFC