Cast announced for La Cage Aux Folles at Sunderland Empire

Cast announced for La Cage Aux Folles

The cast for multi-award winning musical La Cage Aux Folles’ debut appearance at Sunderland Empire has been announced.

The highly anticipated first ever UK tour of the Tony and Olivier award winning show will play Sunderland Empire from Tuesday 1 – Saturday 5 August 2017.

Written by Harvey Fierstein and Jerry Herman, and based on the 1973 French play of the same name by Jean Poiret, La Cage Aux Folles follows the story of Georges, the manager of a Saint Tropez nightclub, and his partner, Albin, a drag artiste and the club’s star attraction. They live an idyllic existence in the south of France but behind the curtains of this sparkling extravaganza, all may be about to change when Georges’ son Jean-Michel announces his engagement to the daughter of a notorious right-wing politician determined to close down the local colourful night-life. Drama and hilarity ensue when a meeting of the parents forces them to cover up their vibrant lifestyle. Will Albin be able to play the role of his life to ensure that Jean-Michel can marry his love?

The original Broadway production became an instant smash hit when it opened in 1983. It received nine nominations for Tony Awards and won six, including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book. The success of the musical spawned a London Palladium production and several international runs. The 2004 Broadway revival won the Tony Award for Best Revival, and the 2008 London revival garnered the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival.

John Partridge will play the iconic role of ‘Albin’, who moonlights as star drag act Zaza at the infamous La Cage aux Folles nightclub. Partridge’s extensive theatre credits include the West End productions of A Chorus Line at the London Palladium, Cats, Starlight Express and Chicago. He is also well known for playing the loveable Christian Clarke in BBC’s EastEnders and as a judge on TV’s Over The Rainbow.

Adrian Zmed will play ‘Georges’, partner of Albin and owner of the nightclub. Zmed co-starred with William Shatner as ‘Officer Vince Romano’ in the 80’s hit TV show T.J. Hooker, which ran for 90 episodes over 5 years, and for playing ‘Johnny Nogerelli’ in the cult classic film Grease 2. Adrian then went on to star alongside big screen legend Tom Hanks in comedy Bachelor Party. This will be his first stage appearance in the UK although he is no stranger to Broadway musicals having previously led the casts of Grease, no fewer than 3 times, Falsettos and Blood Brothers.

One of the West End’s most revered leading ladies’, TV star and recording artist Marti Webb will play ‘Jacqueline’, friend to ‘Albin’ and ‘Georges’, and owner of the restaurant ‘Chez Jacqueline’. Webb has played leading roles in numerous West End and touring musicals including Evita, Godspell, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Blood Brothers, Oliver, Oklahoma, 42nd Street, and Half-a-Sixpence. She received huge critical acclaim for her unforgettable performance in Tell Me on a Sunday, which was written specifically for her by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black. She has recorded nine solo albums and had many hit singles, including Always There, the theme from the hit BBC series ‘Howard’s Way’ and the smash hit Take That Look off Your Face.

Dougie Carter will appear alongside them as ‘Jean-Michele’, Samson Ajewole as ‘Jacob’, Su Douglas as ‘Marie/Madame Renaud’, Alexandra Robinson as ‘Anne’, Paul F Monaghan as ‘Dindon / Renaud’, and Jon De Ville as ‘Francis’. Joining them on stage as Les Cagelles will be Jordan Livesey, Matthew Ives, Louie-George Daniels, Liam Paul Jennings, Micah Holmes and Richard Leavey. Completing the cast are Luke Byrne, Jane Quinn, and Rachel Cumino.

Setting out on its first ever UK tour, this brand new production is produced by Bill Kenwright, directed by Martin Connor, choreographed by Olivier Award Winning Bill Deamer, designed by Gary McCann, with Wigs and Make-up Design by Richard Mawbey, Lighting by Ben Cracknell and Sound by Dan Samson (the team responsible for the sumptuous current hit, The Sound of Music), and musical direction by Mark Crossland. This lavishly funny tale of unconditional love and family values, will leave you feeling the need to celebrate that life’s not worth a damn ‘till you can say I am what I am.’

This show-stopping score includes The Best of Times, Song on the Sand and the iconic I Am What I Am, which has been recorded by musical legends Gloria Gaynor, Shirley Bassey and Tony Bennett.

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Sunderland marks the easterly end of the 140-mile C2C (Coast to Coast) route. The C2C cycle trail from Whitehaven in Cumbria to Sunderland is Britain's most popular long distance route, with up to 15,000 cyclists completing it every year.

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