Casting has been confirmed for the English language World Premiere of La Cage aux Folles [The Play]. Jean Poiret’s seminal classic spawned four blockbuster films and a Tony Award-winning musical. This new translation of the heartfelt farce by theatrical legend Simon Callow will star Michael Matus (Richard III – National Theatre and Headlong Theatre Tour, and King Lear – The Duke of York’s Theatre) in the role of Georges and Paul Hunter (Founder of Told by an Idiot) as Albin. The cast is completed by Sarah Lam, Syrus Lowe, Peter Straker, Mark Cameron, Arthur Hughes, Simon Hepworth, Louise Bangay, Georgina Ambrey and William Nelson. It will be directed by Park Theatre’s Artistic Director, Jez Bond.
Nightclub owner Georges and his dazzling drag artiste partner Albin create the most spectacular shows in St. Tropez. But when Georges’ son Laurent announces his engagement to the daughter of a notoriously right-wing politician determined to bring the curtain down on the town’s vibrant nightlife, the real performance begins.
As Georges and Albin entertain their soon-to-be in laws and attempt to conceal their true nature for the sake of their son, how long can the façade last?
Translator Simon Callow is an actor, author and director. He joined the National Theatre in 1979, where he created the role of Mozart in Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus. His many one-man shows include The Mystery of Charles Dickens, Being Shakespeare, A Christmas Carol, Inside Wagner’s Head, Juvenalia and, most recently, The Man Jesus. He has appeared in many films including A Room with a View, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Shakespeare in Love, Phantom of the Opera and has recently played The Duke of Sandringham in the television series Outlander. He directed Shirley Valentine in the West End and on Broadway, Single Spies at the National Theatre and Carmen Jones at the Old Vic, as well as the film of The Ballad of the Sad Café. He has written biographies of Oscar Wilde, Charles Laughton and Charles Dickens, and three autobiographical books: Being An Actor, Love Is Where It Falls, and My Life in Pieces.
Simon Callow said: “La Cage aux Folles is a great – and brilliantly funny – play about living the life you want to live. It’s also a bit of an eye-opener about what it was to be out and gay in the early seventies. But there’s nothing remotely preachy about it – it’s zany, outrageous, mad. A rampant farce, and utterly life-affirming.”
Jez Bond added: “Despite attitudes to the LGBTQ community having changed over the last few years, we live in a world that’s divided. Nearly fifty years after it first delighted audiences in Paris, the farce that inspired four films and an award-winning musical continues to shine a light on the ridiculousness of bigotry. I’m delighted to be directing this hilarious, heartfelt comedy; and to be bringing the original play to the stage for the first time ever in the English language.”
La Cage aux Folles runs at the Park Theatre from 12 February – 21 March 2020.