Thursday, 29 June 2017

La Cage Aux Folles | Grand Theatre

La Cage Aux Folles is a musical that won't fail to warm your heart. I knew very little about the show before the performance but I am so glad I got myself a ticket as this production is a treat from start to finish. Put aside the flashy costumes, set and wickedly humerus dialogue and what you're left with is a show with acceptance, love and family at it's core which is truly a wonderful thing and it's the balance between theatrical and sincere moments that make this show something special.

Knowing that John Partridge was taking on the role of Albin, a transvestite, I really didn't know what to expect. I'd seen Partridge in Chicago almost exactly a year ago and, while I enjoyed his voice and stage presence, the role of Albin is very different. Honestly, he blew me away. Partridge owned the stage and completely embodied the character, coming across as incredibly likeable and believable. He was quick witted and charismatic with a voice to match. His rendition of I Am What I Am was both powerful and moving and his whole performance was just a pleasure to watch. The standing ovation during the curtain call was well-deserved.

Adrian Zmed as Georges and Dougie Carter as Jean-Michelle were also enjoyable to see and hear and the trio were certainly believable as a family unit. Despite it being a smaller role, Marti Webb as Jacqueline was funny and sung very well. I knew that the show would have a beautiful set and costumes but what I didn't expect was audience interaction. I saw the show on the Wednesday matinee (which in theatres in notoriously dry) so I think it would be interesting to see it on a Friday or Saturday night as I imagine the audiences would be even more enthusiastic. The show is full of laughs throughout as well as some stunning dances from "The Cagelles" and I really enjoyed the clever mix of showmanship and breaking of the fourth wall combined with the main narrative. It made the performance more than just a story - it was a spectacle too.

The production is here at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre until Saturday so be sure to check out their website for any remaining tickets. The tour then has a few more stops and runs until August so I'd highly recommend paying it a visit if you get chance as it's a truly invigorating show. You can check dates and find tickets here.

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