Moulin Rouge
Rating: ★★★★★
Venue: Piccadilly Theatre, London
Cast: Jamie Muscato, Melissa James, Matt Rixon, Ian Carlyle, Ben Richards, Elia Lo Tauro, Amy Thornton, Hannah Jay-Allan and Tiago Dhondt Bamberger

Enter a world of splendour and romance, of eye-popping excess, of glitz, grandeur, and glory! A world where Bohemians and aristocrats rub elbows and revel in electrifying enchantment. Pop the champagne and prepare for the spectacular. Baz Luhrmann’s revolutionary film comes to life onstage, remixed in a new musical mash-up extravaganza. Directed by Tony Award® nominee Alex Timbers, Moulin Rouge! The Musical is a theatrical celebration of Truth, Beauty, Freedom and above all, Love.

From the second you enter the theatre, you're transported to the iconic nightclub, the Moulin Rouge. From scantily clad people in cages, to dimmed red lighting setting the atmosphere; the set is simply breath-taking. In one of the boxes sits the well-known windmill associated with the Moulin Rouge. It's lavish, extravagant and completely over the top. Everything you would expect from this show.

There's so much to discuss in this review, that I'm not even sure where to begin. This was my first time visiting the show, and I booked tickets simply to see Jamie Muscato make his Christian debut. But the love I now have for the soundtrack and the show is overwhelming

Jukebox musicals seem to be taking over the West End at the moment and I know they divide a lot of theatre fans. I personally love them, so I wasn't disappointed with the music choices at all. From "Bad Romance" to, "The Sound of Music" to, "Everlasting Love", to "Single Ladies", there truly is something for everyone. It's extremely difficult not to sing and dance along, but the audience were surprisingly well behaved!

The story follows Satine; the shining diamond of the Moulin Rouge. She finds herself falling for aspiring musician, Christian, but she needs to keep her job. And to keep her job, she must keep the controlling Duke happy and give him what he wants, no matter the price.

The costumes and set bring this show alive. Everything is so outrageously excessive, but I think that's what makes it so utterly magical. You'll see more diamonds and jewels in this show than any other in the West End, and that says a lot for a show where the cast members are half dressed most of the time! Everything is so lavish, that it definitely elicits some gasps throughout the show as you look on in awe and wonder at the spectacle before you.

The dancing was exceptional. Despite the show being a musical, I think the choreography is the star of this show. "Bad Romance" is one of the most brilliant dance sequences I've ever seen on stage; it was absolutely stunning. While "Bad Romance" was my favourite dance number, "Elephant Love Medley" was my standout musical number. After seeing Muscato in many serious roles in recent years (Tony in West Side, JD in Heathers), it was a breath of fresh air to see him charmingly awkward and a happy romantic.

While we're talking of Jamie Muscato, I need to mention his versions of "El Tango de Roxanne" and "Crazy Rolling". On behalf of the West End, we have truly missed the growls, the huskiness and passion that come along with his presence on the stage. He's utterly captivating, and as debuts go, it was one of the best I've seen.

While Muscato shone the brightest, there was no weak member of the cast. Considering it was the debut of a brand new cast, there was nothing to suggest that this cast hadn't been doing this show 8 times a week, for months. 

Much like & Juliet, the songs are so cleverly woven into the script that it's difficult to believe that these songs weren't written for the characters themselves. If you're not a fan of jukebox musicals, I probably wouldn't recommend this as you're likely to be familiar with every song, as it's filled with so many iconic numbers throughout the years.

Everything about this performance was sublime, and I can't wait for my next visit in a few weeks so I can experience it all again. I would go as far to say that this is the best show currently in the West End. It's so much fun and so brilliantly sung, danced and acted. If you get a chance to witness this spectacle, grab the opportunity with both hands

You can buy tickets to Moulin Rouge at the Piccadilly Theatre, here: Moulin Rouge Tickets

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