Review Le Cage Aux Folles Tour

Enjoy Celebrity Radio’s Review Le Cage Aux Folles Tour…

Harvey Fierstein’s La Cage Aux Folles is on tour for the first time in the UK until Aug 2017.

This delicious camp-fest has feathers, frocks and is a fabulously inspiring and uplifting story of family amidst a female impersonators life behind the wigs, slap and high-heels.

Starring John Partridge, Adrian Zmed & Marti Webb - this production is a period piece written as a decadent, sparkly, powerful and meaningful play back in the 80’s. I’m therefore bewildered by the Tess Daley & Primark ‘ad-libs’ crowbarred in for cheap laughs!

There are moments of astounding beauty and grand theatre in Le Cage, however, (especially in the first half) the show crosses a line into ‘panto dame’ instead of pathos & drama which is a terrible shame.

The hard of thinking will however be wowed by the gorgeous costumes, wigs, scenery, Live band, perfect sound & lighting which is second to none in touring theatre.

The show peaks at the end of Act 1 with Partridge’s moving, powerful and beautiful delivery of ‘I am what I am’. This is the saviour of the first half.  That was the passion, depth and emotion that we should have felt throughout this brilliant play.

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John Patridge plays the iconic role of ‘Albin’, who moonlights as a drag act called Zaza at the infamous La Cage aux Folles nightclub.

At times it feels that Zaza is being played for mockery - of Louis Spence proportions - a new twist that I’ve not seen or felt in any other production.

Worse than Partridge’s OTT campery was Samson Ajewole portrayal of Jacob - simply staged for cheap laughs. Totally unedifying in my view.

Vulnerability is the backbone of this play and that was sadly mostly missed.

With occasional moments of choreographed bliss in Act 1, and great drama in Act 2 - this is worth a visit despite the schticky over-egging of the drag omelette.

It could have been a theatrical gem.

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The entire ‘front of cloth’ banter was a car-crash in the middle of Act 1. Why on earth hasn’t it been chopped? One of the most buttock clenchingly awful 10 minutes I’ve ever experienced in a theatre. It fell flat due to a disastrously performed, ill-judged & inappropriate script.

Nevertheless, the second half was a master class in comedy drama with nods to Adrian Zmed, Dougie Carter, Marti & Su Douglas.

Adrian Zmed plays ‘Georges’ and drives the story. He’s most famous for Starring in the 70’s hit TV show T.J. Hooker and in the cult classic film Grease 2.

Marti Webb plays Jacqueline, owner of the restaurant ‘Chez Jacqueline’. It’s a shame she doesn’t really get to shine, but her ‘small part’ is delivered masterfully.

What a shame, I wanted to love this….

Review by Alex Belfield for Celebrity Radio 15th Feb 2017.