La Cage Aux Folles is the ‘swan song' of Tim Sheader before leaving his position as artistic director of Regent's Park Open Air Theatre and just like every song in this musical, it is stunningly delivered. The show is a revival of the iconic musical comedy, 40 years after its opening on Broadway, with choreographies by Stephen Mear, lighting design by Howard Hudson and sound design by Nick Lidster.

The upbeat energy of the show perfectly suits the atmosphere of the open air theatre, as it joyously transports us to the sunny beaches of the Riviera of Saint Tropez, if only London's weather decided to play along a bit better!

Carl Mullaney delivers a beautifully authentic performance as Zaza. Their energy is captivating, endearing, they have perfect comedic timing and they can switch effortlessly from comedy to the most poignant and dramatic moments, keeping your attention at all times. Billy Carter is a perfect shoulder, playing a very earnest and lovable Georges caught in many a dilemma.

The legendary Cagelles are everything they are supposed to be: wild, hilarious, poetic, unpredictable, colourful, nimble. They are a constant source of smiles and genuine laughs. It was fascinating to see on stage a more contemporary take on traditional drag queens. The presence of three wonderful drag kings also adds charm and class to this new revival. 

The choreographies by Stephen Mear are a treat for the eye, they are full of energy, intelligence, creativity, humour, theatrical surprises, everything one could hope for from a great summer evening at the theatre.
Ben Culleton plays a very believable and convincing Jean-Michel: he doesn't shy away from the less likeable parts of his character which allows for a very powerful and touching switch towards the end. 

Overall an extremely well-achieved production, full of humour and moving moments, and with some powerful and urgent messages about our society.


It runs until 19 September. Tickets from £31: here.


Photo: Johan Persson.