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, his star attraction - and the adventures that ensue when Georges\' son Jean-Michel brings home his fiancée\'s ultra-conservative parents to meet them.
Douglas Hodge reprises his performance as drag queen Albin, newly joined by actor-director Denis Lawson, who returns to the West End stage after a long absence to take over from Philip Quast as Albin’s lover Georges. Other new cast members include Tracie Bennett (Hairspray) as Jacqueline and Paula Wilcox as Mme Renaud / Mme Dindon (See News, 1 Oct 2008).
The transfer received a generally glittering reception from the overnight and weekend critics, with a clutch of five star ratings and a wide array of acclamations, particularly for the “storming” performance of Douglas Hodge and the high-kicking Les Cagelles chorus. Hodge’s new co-star Denis Lawson was also rated highly, even if some found his performance lacking the \"massive dignity\" of Quast. Though there were questions regarding the show’s relevancy in an age of legalised civil partnerships, most were happy to look past the politics and enjoy a night of all-out entertainment, which, in the words of one critic, has “actually improved on its move to the West End”.
- by Theo Bosanquet
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