Review: Open the Cage, Murphy! by Paul O’Grady

Open the Cage, Murphy! by Paul O'GradyPaul O’Grady (and his alter ego Lily Savage) has had quite a life, so perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that ‘Open the Cage, Murphy!’ is not his first autobiography volume, but his fourth!

Just as it was with the preceding three, ‘Open the Cage, Murphy!’ is jam packed full of hilarious stories, but it’s not all fun and games. Tragedy also prevails when Paul loses close friends to the ravaging disease that is AIDS, yet he manages to inject his trademark wit into the tragic loss whilst still being respectful.

‘Open the Cage, Murphy!’ carries on where ‘Still Standing: The Savage Years’ left off, as Paul and Lily’s career takes off, but it’s not all plain sailing.

Paul is a natural storyteller and his personality and voice shine through in this book, as it did with the others. You almost feel as if you’re there as he recounts these tales.

Savage by name, savage by nature. Paul doesn’t hold back his venom when angry or upset, but there beside him, sometimes provoking him but often setting him on the right track and being the voice of reason, is Murphy – Paul’s best friend, manager, lover. Murphy features a lot in the book and was instrumental in helping Paul get where he is now.

Paul is brutally honest and quick witted. I couldn’t help laughing out loud when Paul recounts a story about being at a party in New York and Madonna walks in. He thought she was downright rude, so when she said imperiously “You know what I want?”, he retorted “A fucking good wash?”. Only Paul O’Grady could get away with that!

I raced through ‘Open the Cage, Murphy!’ with ease. Once again, really enjoying reading more of Paul’s stories and encounters, and I’m already itching to read more.

Get ‘Open the Cage, Murphy!’ in Hardback or on Kindle.

If you’ve not yet read Paul O’Grady’s previous three volumes of his autobiography, I’d definitely recommend reading them first:

At My Mother’s Knee… and other low joints
Paperback | Kindle

The Devil Rides Out: The Second Coming
Paperback | Kindle

Still Standing: The Savage Years
Paperback | Kindle


  1. Hi Nikki,

    As you so rightly pointed out, I am not one for reading memoirs, especially not the fourth by a single person! However, I do quite like Paul O’Grady when he is being himself, although I do tend to listen to the radio stints he does, rather than the TV programmes. He is just a natural showman and so spontaneous (I love the story you shared from the book).

    Have a good week,


  2. Tracy Terry says:

    I have read one of the the previous memoirs – which one I fail to remember but I do remember it being quite sad as well as very funny.

    Great review and from what I remember of the book I read wonderfully summed up.

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