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REVIEW: La Cage aux Folles, Theatre Royal Norwich

John Partridge in La Cage Aux Follies
John Partridge in La Cage Aux Follies

La Cage aux Folles burst on to the scene as a pioneering movie in the 1970s and grabbed the headlines for its examination of a more unconventional love story: the relationship between drag artist Albin and his partner, Georges, and his son, Jean-Michele.

The son has met a girl, Anne, with ultra traditional parents, and a plan is hatched to hide their lifestyle. A musical version was created in the 1980s and this new production has just started to tour the country. And what a tour de force it is for John Partridge – best known as Christian Clarke in EastEnders – as Albin. But there is such a lot more to him than just a TV hunk. A classically trained ballet dancer, the role was seemingly made for him and he gets across his complex yet fragile character well. Add in great singing and dancing and an amazing range of outfits, and it’s hard to take your eyes off him.

Indeed, the costumes are spectacular, think more is more, with La Cage dancers appearing in so many sequins and feathers!

West End legend Marti Webb has a charming cameo role, there are some great comic moments, and watch out for that iconic hit, I Am What I Am - which sums up the show’s message.

The show continues until Saturday, visit www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk

Sarah Hardy

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