With only a few days before the first performance of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the return of Douglas Hodge to the London stage, it’s only appropriate to remember the 2008 Menier (and West End) production of La Cage Aux Folles.
Douglas Hodge as Albin is one of my favourite performances of all time, moving, light, truthful, a precious and personal memory from the first time I saw the production at the Menier. Repeat visits to the Playhouse theatre were exhilarating – with one memorable scene having Zaza / Albin singing I Am What I Am, taking the wig off and bursting to the street from a side door in full drag.
I Am What I Am is Albin’s big number but I always had a soft spot for Douglas Hodge singing A Little More Mascara. The version below is a recording made in December 2008 at the BBC Radio 2 studios as part of the Elaine Paige show. Rougher, somewhat more innocent than the official cast recording years later, it packs a big punch.