la cage aux folles (then & now)
If the word “camp” claws your throat then please look away now, for everyone else get yourself a ticket for the Brighton Theatre Groups production of the fabulously camp La Cage aux Folles. This brilliant gay farce was first produced in France in 1973 with the premise revolving around two gay men, Georges, the owner of the drag revue night club were his long term lover, Albin takes to the stage each night as the super glamorous Zaza.
Although gay men having children is no longer seen as partially shocking, the play was way ahead of its time by having Georges and Albin as proud gay parents to a son ( a result of a short fling George had twenty years before) called Laurent (in the musical his name is Jean-Michel).
Things started to get a little twisted when Laurent/ Jean-Michel wants to bring his fiancée, Andrea/ Anne home to meet his parents. Although Andrea/Anne knows about her fiancé’s parents they have to keep things secret from her parents who are not only super conservative, but her father also intends to close down the night club, La Cage aux Folles. For purest the original French film is a master class in French farce, while the American remake, The Birdcage, starring Robin Williams and can only sit and watch with envy in its shadow.
On the other hand, the musical on which the original play is based is a joy and well worth catching on its short run, (6th-10th September). The book for La Cage Aux Folles was written by Harvey Fierstein, gay civil rights activist and writer of the other brilliant gay stage play and film Torch Song Trilogy.
Amongst all the camp and feathers of La Cage Aux Folles is a powerful message about gay rights, gay love and the importance of standing up for who you are and what you believe in.
The show runs from 6th to 10th September.
Tickets can be booked from the Theatre Royal Box office 0844 871 7650.