REVIEW: La Cage Aux Folles, Grand Opera House, York

John Partridge and Adrian Zmed in La Cage Aux Folles
John Partridge and Adrian Zmed in La Cage Aux Folles

Wow! I’ve never seen a show quite like this; wigs, wit and wonderful razzle dazzle.

Bill Kenwright always presents quality productions, and has excelled himself with this musical extravaganza.

With music and lyrics by Jerry Herman and book by Harvey Fierstein, La Cage aux Folles opened on Broadway in 1983. This exciting new production is directed by Martin Connor, with breath-taking choreography by Bill Deamer, and sumptuous set and costume design by Gary McCann.

American actor Adrian Zmed played nightclub owner Georges, with John Partridge taking on the role of his partner Albin, who also played the club’s star attraction, drag queen Zaza. John Partridge was superb in his roles, mercurially switching from male to female throughout, and an absolute natural when it came to bantering with the audience. Giving Albin/ Zaza a Northern accent was an inspired idea, and worked really well.

Underneath all the comedy there was real poignancy as the storyline unfolded; I had a lump in my throat when Albin sang I Am What I Am , backed by a wonderful live band directed by Tim “Sandra” Whiting. We saw behind the mask; Song on the Sand clearly expressed the depth of feeling between Georges and Albin, and a glaring spotlight shone on the prejudice shown by Dindon (Paul F Monaghan) and his wife Marie (Su Douglas).

There was glitz and glamour galore in this show – the dancing of the high-kicking troupe of seven male and two female Cagelles was truly mesmerising.

La Cage Aux Folles is at the Grand Opera House, York, on Friday June 2 at 7.30pm and Saturday June 3 at today at 2.30pm and 7.30pm.

Tickets: 0844 871 3024