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Photos: John Barrowman Out & About as Zaza

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John Barrowman slipped on his stilettos for a stroll round town recently to promote his upcoming stint as Albin/Zaza in La Cage aux Folles at the Playhouse, which begins on 14 September  (See News, 20 May 2009).

Barrowman will be the fourth actor to play the role in the Menier Chocolate Factory production, following Olivier winner Douglas Hodge, Graham Norton and current incumbent Roger Allam (See 1st Night TV, 14 May 2009).

The production, which began life at the Chocolate Factory in January 2008, has recently announced a national tour from February next year. Venues so far confirmed are the Chuchill Theatre, Bromley from 5 to 13 February, the Milton Keynes Theatre from 15 to 20 February and the Brighton Theatre Royal from 22 to 27 February.

Based on the 1973 French play by Jean Poiret and subsequent 1978 French-Italian screen version, Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein’s 1983 Broadway musical comedy 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 Michael Haslam. The current cast also features Abigail McKern, Jason Pennycooke, Iain Mitchell, Alicia Davies, Stuart Neal and Tracie Bennett.

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