Interview With…Arthur Hughes

The actor chatted to us about starring in La Cage Aux Folles (the play) at the Park Theatre from the 12th February.

Hi Arthur – for those who haven’t seen La Cage Aux Folles before could you explain a bit more about the story? La Cage is a story of love, heels and acceptance. Set in the glitzy sun drenched St Tropez of the 1970s, la cage aux folles is the hottest drag club in town, run by proprietor Georges, with his partner Albin, the star attraction. When Georges’ son Laurent (me) arrives home with news of his engagement, Georges and Albin are instructed to prepare for the imminent arrival of the rather conservative in laws.

How are you feeling about being part of this production? I’ve absolutely loving being a part of this show, it’s been one of the best rehearsal rooms I’ve had the pleasure of being in. The show is outrageously funny, which I knew from first reading the script, but the humour and creativity that has been loaded on top since we began has made it something even more impressive.

What was it that made you want to be part of La Cage Aux Folles? I wanted to be a part of this production as it just sounded like so much fun. In my career there have been only a few opportunities to play something funny, and this was the funniest thing I’d read for a while. I also love Park Theatre, and so a chance to do a rip roaring comedy there was too good to miss.

How would you describe your character Laurent? My character, Laurent, is the 20 year old son of Georges, the owner of the club. He was conceived during Georges’ one brief dalliance into the hetero world, two decades previous. Laurent is desperately in love with Muriel, his fiancée, and wants to do anything to make sure it all happens smoothly. I think Laurent is very good natured and loving, if not sometimes a little hot headed and possibly naive.

What can audiences expect from this production? Audiences can expect an absolute barrage of laughs in this show. It really is relentless. The script leaps off the page when you first read it, but the work we have done in the room has made it into something that will really delight an audience theatrically. There is no fourth wall which the audience are covertly watching through; the auditorium is very much there with us and complicit in the whole farce. There is a real message of inclusivity in the show, and the audience will feel like they are right in the proverbial with us when they come to watch.

What do you think it is about this story that continues to resonate with audiences? This story is to timeless and continues to be told again and again as it’s just so warm. You care about the central characters so much, that none of the laughs or jokes are cheap. There is a lot of heart and touching moments to contrast with the glitz, the colour and the campness. It’s a story of family, love and tolerance which make it a great tale to keep on delighting audiences.

How would you describe the play? I would describe the play as a fast paced, colourful and hilarious story. Joyful in its creativity, it will keep you laughing and guessing what the hell is going to happen next.

By Emma Clarendon

La Cage Aux Folles will play at the Park Theatre from the 12th February until the 21st March.

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