Norton to make West End theatre debut in La Cage aux Folles

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It has been confirmed that television presenter Graham Norton is to make his West End theatre debut in La Cage aux Folles next year, as exclusively revealed by The Stage in September.

The 45-year-old entertainer will take over from Douglas Hodge in the role of drag queen Albin on January 19 at the Playhouse Theatre, for a three-month run.

Speaking today at a press conference. where he was unveiled in a red sequin dress and blonde wig, Norton said: “The public can rest assured that I have no ambitions to do musical theatre, apart from this. I wanted to do this – I don’t have the desire to be in another musical.

“When I was 21 and in San Francisco, and I saw the first road tour in 1984 of La Cage aux Folles, I thought, ‘God, when I am old enough to play that I would love, love, love to do it’. Magically it has all come around and it has happened. I think this is a fantastic show, so if I don’t destroy it like some terrible Godzilla in heels crashing through the delicate jungle, I will be really pleased.”

Norton began his career as an actor after training at the Central School of Speech and Drama – he appeared in Father Ted, Another Gay Movie and I Could Never Be Your Woman. He is best known as the host of The Graham Norton Show, and more recently frontman of BBC reality TV show I’d Do Anything.

The production of La Cage aux Folles, which tells the story of a gay couple in a Saint Tropez Nightclub, opened at the Menier Chocolate Factory at the end of last year. It transferred to the Playhouse Theatre in October for an initial limited run, which has now been extended to April 25.