The West End run of La Cage aux Folles welcomed a new cast member last night (12 May 2009) and also saw the return of an old friend. Roger Allam steps into Graham Norton's stilettos as Albin (originally played by Olivier award winner Douglas Hodge), while Philip Quast returns to the role of Georges (See News, 11 Mar 2009).

Terry Johnson's revival of the Jerry Herman/Harvey Fierstein musical was first seen at the 150-seat Menier Chocolate Factory in Southwark, where it ran, with Hodge and Quast, from 9 January to 8 March 2008 (previews from 27 November 2007). It opened at the Playhouse on 30 October 2008 (previews from 20 October).

This year, in addition to two Oliviers (the second for Best Musical Revival), La Cage aux Folles has won two Whatsonstage.com Awards and the Critics’ Circle Award for Best Musical.

TO SCROLL THROUGH ALL OF LA CAGE AUX FOLLES' 1ST NIGHT PHOTOS,
JUST CLICK ON THE "NEXT >" LINKS BELOW THE FOLLOWING FRAME.
PHOTOS BY DAN WOOLLER FOR WHATSONSTAGE.COM.

Based on the 1973 French play by Jean Poiret and subsequent 1978 French-Italian screen version, La Cage aux Folles focuses on a gay couple – Georges, the manager of a St Tropez nightclub featuring drag entertainment, and Albin/Zaza, his star attraction - and the adventures that ensue when Georges' son Jean-Michel brings home his fiancée's ultra-conservative parents to meet them. In 1996 it was adapted for the big screen as The Birdcage, starring Robin Williams.

The revival is directed by Terry Johnson, designed by Tim Shortall and choreographed by Whatsonstage.com Award winner Lynne Page, with costumes by Matthew Wright, wigs and make-up by Richard Mawbey, musical supervision and orchestrations by Jason Carr and musical direction by Nigel Lilley. The current cast also features Paula Wilcox, Jason Pennycooke, Iain Mitchell, Alicia Davies, Stuart Neal and Whatsonstage.com Award winner Tracie Bennett.

- by Theo Bosanquet

** DON'T MISS our Whatsonstage.com Outing to LA CAGE AUX FOLLES on 9 June 2009 – inc EXCLUSIVE post-show Q&A with Allam & Quast, FREE programme & FREE drink! – all for £37.50!!! - click here for details!! **