Moulin Rouge: My Thoughts

Moulin Rouge: My Thoughts

I had such high expectations for this show, having read reviews and seen it’s performance at the Olivier awards I was bursting with excitement to see it. I attended the matinee performance on Wednesday 27th of April 2022.

Entering the theatre was like entering another world, right from the start it felt magical, the bar was buzzing and there was a hum of excitement among the crowd. Entering into the grand circle it was breathtaking, seeing that stage lit up in person for the first time was insane. The way they have decorated the entire theatre with lights and how everything is red is absolutely immersive. Everything in the space is red, the seats, the walls, the lights and it was stunning. As the performers being to come onto stage for preshow the excitement continues, getting to see a glimpse of the Olivier award winning costume before it starts is so intriguing. As the performers peruse around the stage staring into the audience but doing no more it creates an atmosphere of lust.


The opening number of the show is phenomenal; the dancing, the lights, the costumes, it is a brilliant opening, though I have never been it’s exactly what I would expect from the real Moulin Rouge show. The only thing I would say is it is very female based and the male ensemble are kind of just decoration, but that is because most performers in the Moulin Rouge are female so to be of likeness it had to have heavy female involvement. However that is where it really stopped for me, as the show progressed I lost interest and the rest of the dancing did not live up to the opening number.


The actual storyline of the show was almost narrated by the characters rather than performed which I didn’t enjoy. The songs felt very forced and didn’t connect to the acting as well as they could have, some of the other musical numbers, such as the diamonds medley, were good but they did not match the energy of the first number. The story itself really only includes 5 people and for a musical with such a vast cast this surprised me. The story was very typical of a love story in Paris and had nothing exciting about it, from my understanding it is the same as the film however the stage show has an greater focus on Satine. The use of song was clever however sometimes too much and too choppy. I understand they had the intention to include as many songs from the real Moulin Rouge show as they could which is a great idea but overall I don’t think it worked. I think it came across a bit too much of a mashup and then when you got a long song like ‘Come What May’ it felt like it dragged on. I was unaware it would have so many modern pop songs in it having not listened to the album before watching and I have to say I don’t think some of the songs were used in the best way. Where as in simple jukebox musicals, such as &juliet, the songs are used for comedic effect and sang to complement one another I felt some of these songs didn’t really work. For example having a low male voice sing Chandelier by Sia was a real miss for me.

I do feel credit is due to the casting team as the roles were cast very well. The stand out performer for me was Jason Pennycoat, he was sensational. I really enjoyed his performance in Hamilton and again he was a pleasure to watch in this, he really becomes the character and is so compelling in his delivery. Also I could not fault the vocals of Liisi LaFontaine as Satine, she was an absolute powerhouse though I do feel her acting could have been improved, she was stunning under the lights. I think Courtney Reed (original Princess Jasmine of Broadway) will be an exceptional Satine, she is currently in rehearsals for the Northern American tour, I can’t wait to see some clips of her performing.

Despite the show not living up to my expectations I will be seeing it again as I would like to see Toyan Thomas-Brown play Baby Doll, after watching him in Kinky Boots on tour I am a huge fan of his and want to continue to support him. Next time I have booked a seat in the stalls very close to the stage, around the third row I think, so I am interested to see if I will have a different opinion on it after seeing it again. I think knowing what to expect I may enjoy it more as I know what’s coming.

I would probably not recommend this show to a friend as I feel like there are better shows out there but at the same time it wasn’t awful and everyone likes different things. For the high ticket price I don’t think it is worth it and would suggest waiting till prices reduce or there are deals to see it. For £250 you can fly to Paris and see the real Moulin Rouge, and I would say that is a much better experience.

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