Posts with the label moulin rouge
Showing posts with label moulin rouge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label moulin rouge. Show all posts

Wednesday, 18 January 2023

Moulin Rouge! the Musical, Piccadilly Theatre | Review


Moulin Rouge the Musical 
The Piccadilly Theatre 
Reviewed on Tuesday 17th January 2023
★★★★

A tale of two halves, Moulin Rouge the Musical is both a spectacular spectacular and a chaotic conundrum. Based on the 2001 film of the same name, it tells the story of fated lovers Christian and Satine, who despite the hardships which surround them, just want to be free to love one another. This musical adaptation takes elements from the film but also puts an extreme jukebox spin on the whole thing.


The real issue with Moulin Rouge is the clunky, all over the place book, which, especially in act one, feels basic. Random lines of dialogue are interspersed with pop songs that come out of nowhere and elicit awkward laughter from the audience; and the show feels confused, as if it can’t decide whether to lean into the comedy or try to be a serious show. There are also a number of side character arcs woven in to further the plot, each of which feel too random and under-developed to really elevate the show in any way. The heart of the story is Christian and Satine love and it would be more effective if we only followed their story.


However, on the other side of the coin, the musical is a visual masterpiece which completely astounds. It's the epitome of razzle dazzle, and the set certainly the most spectacular in the West End right now. Derek McLane has created a sumptuous backdrop which has details hidden in every corner of the auditorium, from the elephant who towers over, to the mini Moulin Rouges embossed in the golden decadence of the facade. Paired with Catherine Zuber's divine costumes, you really couldn't ask for more in terms of aesthetics.

Also, after a pantomime-esque Act One, the musical really steps up a gear. In Act Two the stakes get higher, the performances get more intense and it really becomes the show you'd expect. As leading man Christian, Jamie Muscato is absolutely glorious, serving divine vocals throughout and also bringing a charming, comedic side to the role. Crazy Rolling is a superb stand out moment, as is El Tango de Roxanne, which includes both breathtakingly good vocals, and fantastic dancing by Amy Thornton and Elia Lo Tauro

Both Ben Richards and Matt Rixon as the Duke and Harold Zidler respectively, are good as the 'baddies' but do lack a darker level of menacing that would really add to their performances. As Satine, Melissa James has some great moments, especially her duet of Come What May, a moment where I felt things levelled up and I became much more invested in the story.

Perhaps the most effective part of the musical are the group numbers where the ensemble come together with upmost energy to perform Sonya Tayeh's abundant choreography. The opening Lady Marmalade number is particularly impressive and there's no denying how talented this cast are.

Overall, a three star act one, a five star set, and a four star act two make this a distinctly middle of the ground show and there's definitely elements of style over substance, but when it's good, it's really good and worth seeing for the Act Two opening number alone.

Moulin Rouge! the Musical, Piccadilly Theatre | Review

Wednesday, 18 January 2023

Monday, 5 September 2022

New Cast Announced for Moulin Rouge the Musical

Global Creatures, Producers of Moulin Rouge! The Musical, are delighted to welcome a new cast of bohemians and aristocrats as the hit show enters its second year at the Piccadilly Theatre in London.
From 17 October 2022, the cast will include Melissa James (The Bodyguard UK Tour and Cats UK Tour) as Satine, Jamie Muscato (Heathers The Musical) as Christian and Matt Rixon (Hairspray UK Tour) as Harold Zidler.

They will be joined by Ian Carlyle (Disney’s The Lion King, Porgy and Bess) who remains with the cast and takes over the role of Toulouse-Lautrec, Ben Richards (The Bill and Emmerdale) as The Duke, Elia Lo Tauro (Disney’s The Lion King, On Your Feet) who continues to play Santiago and Amy Thornton (Matilda, Rock of Ages) who continues with the cast and steps into the role of Nini, with recent graduate Tiago Dhondt Bamberger as Baby Doll, Hannah Jay-Allan (TINA: The Tina Turner Musical) as Arabia, Elliotte Williams-N’Dure (Unfortunate) as La Chocolat, and Tanisha Spring (The Prince of Egypt) who will continue to play Alternate Satine.

The full cast will also include Michael Afemare, Yandrick Agius, Femi Akinfolarin, Ollie Augustin, Will Bozier, Robson Broad, Jonathan Cordin, Anthony Cragg, Katie Deacon, Fletcher Dobinson, Taofique Folarin, Honey Joseph, Alicia MencĂ­a Lopez, Georgia Morgan, Nathaniel Morrison, Melissa Nettleford, Alice Readie, Ben Rutter, Craig Ryder, Elly Shaw, Tinovimbanashe Sibanda, Misty May Tindall, Jon Tsouras, Lily Wang, and Jason Leigh Winter.

Set in Paris, 1899, a world of indulgent beauty and unparalleled extravagance, of bohemians and aristocrats, of boulevardiers and reprobates, Moulin Rouge! The Musical is the story of a lovesick American writer, Christian, and Satine, the dazzling star of the Moulin Rouge nightclub. 

When their lives collide at the Moulin Rouge, they fall hopelessly in love, only to be thwarted by the nightclub’s host and impresario, Harold Zidler, and The Duke of Monroth, the wealthy and entitled patron of the club who thinks he can buy anything he wants, including Satine. Together with his Bohemian friends – the brilliant and starving artist Toulouse-Lautrec, and the greatest tango dancer in all of Paris, Santiago – Christian stages a musical spectacular in an attempt to save the Moulin Rouge and win the heart of Satine.

Baz Luhrmann’s iconic film comes to life onstage, remixed for today in a new musical mash-up extravaganza. Moulin Rouge! The Musical invites you to enter a world of passionate romance and eye-popping splendour… a place where Bohemians and aristocrats revel together in electrifying enchantment… a place where all your wildest dreams come true! 

New Cast Announced for Moulin Rouge the Musical

Monday, 5 September 2022

Friday, 21 January 2022

Moulin Rouge! the Musical, Piccadilly Theatre | Review


Moulin Rouge!
Piccadilly Theatre
Reviewed on Thursday 20th January 2022 
★★★

The West End premiere of Baz Luhrmann's 2001 musical Moulin Rouge has been a long-awaited adaptation. After a number of delays it has finally opened and is certainly a spectacle to behold. There's razzle-dazzle, glitz and glam and hugely sumptuous chorus numbers, but often it's a case of style over substance, with some moments falling flat.

There is a lot to love with the production; the energy is next level throughout, the variety of performers is wonderful to see and the classic songs from the movies are excellent. Unfortunately, a lot of the new musical additions feel chaotic and detract from the action. Some additions work well such as the updated Elephant Love Medley which combines the old and new incredibly deftly and is joyous as it's performed amongst a starlit backdrop. Adele's Rolling in the Deep combined with Gnarls Barkley's Crazy also sums up the angst and anger in act 2 well and is one of the strongest performances of the show. Many of the other songs are jarring and actually drag us out of the story, making the show feel more like a cabaret presentation or pantomime.

As a visual piece of art, this musical truly is like no other. Derek McLane's set is utterly jaw-dropping from the moment you enter the auditorium. Luscious velvet and fabric drapes the walls and the ceiling, a life size elephant watches over the auditorium and the swirling windmill of the Moulin Rouge gets the motion going from the start.  Glitter and pyrotechnics are also a mile a minute and Catherine Zuber's costumes are a show in themselves. 


The cast mostly do a great job at bringing the iconic cabaret to life. Liisi LaFontaine is beautiful as Satine, especially when she can really let her vocals soar in solo moments. As the young composer Christian, Jamie Bogyo is suitably awkward and charming but occasionally feels like he's holding back vocally. The pair are sweet, but there's something lacking in the chemistry and both characters feels quite underdeveloped. Instead of showing any real emotion, they're used for humour and it's not until the end that we get to see them make any decisions themselves. The only character who really gets to show his emotion is Tolulouse-Lautrec played expertly by Jason Pennycook.

It's in the large group numbers that the musical really excels and gets the audience invested. Sonya Tayeh's choreography is spirited and enticing, especially so in the Tango Roxanne, where Sophie Carmen-Jones and  Elia Lo Tauro command the stage and give outstanding performances. The opening Lady Marmalade number and the closing mega-mix of all the best parts are also stunning showcases for the ensemble who lift the whole show up. The can-can is also particularly impressive and enjoyable to watch.

Whilst the show is lacking in places, it's certainly a spectacle and if you want to be immersed into a wild world then Moulin Rouge is certainly worth a visit. 

photo credit: Matt Crockett

Moulin Rouge! the Musical, Piccadilly Theatre | Review

Friday, 21 January 2022