The announcement that La Cage will continue until 26 September caps an exciting week for the fabulously camp show; Tuesday saw the Menier Chocolate Factory production named Best Musical at the Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards.
Written by Jerry Herman, and first staged in 1983, La Cage Aux Folles tells the story of Georges, the owner of the eponymous drag club, and his partner Albin, the club’s star performer as alter ego Zaza. When Georges’s son announces his engagement to a right wing politician’s daughter, and that the future in-laws are coming to visit, the couple’s lifestyle is drastically overhauled.
The production, directed by Terry Johnson, was first staged at the Menier Chocolate Factory in late 2007, when it triumphed over adversity – leading man Douglas Hodge was ill for much of the preview period – to become another musical hit for the London Bridge venue which has also transferred Sunday In The Park With George and Little Shop Of Horrors to the West End. Following its success on the fringe, the transfer opened at the Playhouse theatre in October 2008.
TV presenter Graham Norton, who is more used to hosting shows searching for West End stars than appearing on the London stage, is currently playing delicious diva Albin, having taken over from Hodge earlier this month. Norton, who trained as an actor before achieving fame as a television talk show host, leads a cast that also includes Steven Pacey, Tracie Bennett and Paula Wilcox. He is due to continue in the role until 25 April. Casting for the extended dates is yet to be announced.
Tickets for shows from 27 April go on sale from Monday 2 February.