Douglas Hodge will reprise his performance as cross-dressing cabaret artist Albin in musical La Cage Aux Folles when the production, first seen at the Menier Chocolate Factory, transfers to the Playhouse theatre in October.
Hodge is joined in the cast by Denis Lawson, who replaces Philip Quast as Albin’s lover Georges.
The plot of comic musical La Cage Aux Folles revolves around the lives of Georges, owner of La Cage Aux Folles cabaret club, and his star drag artiste and lover Albin. When Georges’s son announces his engagement to the daughter of a right-wing politician, the future in-laws pay a visit, forcing Georges and Albin to make a drastic lifestyle change.
La Cage Aux Folles premiered on Broadway in 1983, when it played 1,761 performances, won six Tony Awards and became the biggest new American musical of the decade. Jerry Herman’s score includes the anthem I Am What I Am, which has been recorded by artists including Gloria Gaynor and Shirley Bassey.
This revival of the camp musical classic opened at the Menier Chocolate Factory earlier this year, following a troubled rehearsal and preview period, which suffered from the indisposition of Hodge through illness. This didn’t stop the season reportedly selling out before opening night.
The production has been reconceived for the transfer to a larger venue in the West End. When La Cage Aux Folles opens at the Playhouse theatre, audience members over the age of 18 will be able to buy exclusive cabaret seating at the front of the stalls to experience the thrill of the club close up.
Hodge has been a West End regular in recent years, appearing across a wide range of projects. He played loveable rogue Nathan Detroit opposite Ewan McGregor in Guys And Dolls at the Piccadilly theatre, Titus Andronicus in Shakespeare’s Globe’s gore-sodden production of 2006, and starred in Kneehigh theatre’s production of A Matter Of Life And Death at the National Theatre.
Lawson’s theatrical credits include Oleanna (Duke of York’s theatre), Lust (Theatre Royal Haymarket) and Volpone (Almeida), while on television he has appeared in Holby City, Robin Hood and Bleak House.
La Cage Aux Folles runs at the Playhouse from 20 October to 10 January (press night 30 October). Tickets go on sale from 2 September.