Looking for a show which is high energy, visually stunning, and delivers some sensation vocals? Moulin Rouge can-can-can, and does-does-does, deliver on all of this, and more.

Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 film Moulin Rouge, starring Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman, was a huge commercial and critical success. The show follows Christian (Jamie Muscato), an American writer who travels to Paris, and falls in love with Satine (Melissa James), the star of the Moulin Rouge. Both the film and the stage adaptations are jukebox musicals – the marmite of the theatrical world. And this show takes it to a new level, with a whopping 75 songs included in the production.

The creative team have constructed a visually stunning show. Featuring a decadent set design by Derek McLane, which incorporates red velvet and masses of lights, transporting you directly to the Moulin Rouge in Paris, as soon as you enter the auditorium. The costumes by Catherine Zuber are elegant, sexy, and colourful, each piece is fully realised and cohesive. The lighting elevates the show throughout, there are some magnificent moments, the ‘Diamonds’ medley incorporates a sparkly set with a diamond in the centre and is a wonderful spectacle. This combination of set, costume, and lighting design creates a breathtakingly gorgeous display.

Now, Satine may be the star of the Moulin Rouge. But the star of this production is Jamie Muscato. Muscato displays impeccable vocals, with ‘Roxanne’ being a highlight of the show. He brings a great deal of personality to Christian, oozing charisma, charm and intertwining an endearing bashfulness in the role. Muscato steals the show whenever on stage, from goofy facial expressions to his incredible vocal range, he displays all, in what is quite an enduring role, physically and vocally. He is rarely offstage throughout the 2-hour 35 minute run time, and his energy never dissolves, showing not a single ounce of vocal fatigue.

Melissa James showcases some impressive vocals and her chemistry with Muscato is electric. Matt Rixon takes on the role of Harold Zidler, owner of the Moulin Rouge. Rixon delights with an eccentric, hilarious performance. The bohemian duo, Toulouse-Lautrec (Ian Carlyle) and Santiago (Elia Lo Tauro), prove an excellent comedic twosome, with impeccable timing, delivery, and physical comedy. Amy Thornton stuns in the role of Nini, strongly establishing herself as a triple threat.

Sonya Tayeh’s choreographing is sensational. With a variety of dance styles incorporated, the cast’s movements are strong, tight and this is a huge aspect of what makes the show wonderful.

Christian aims to write every love song the world has ever heard; I don’t know if he manages that, but this production definitely contains every love song the world has ever heard. As stated previously, this show includes a huge number of songs, not all of these are sung the whole way through, just one line is performed at times. I’m unsure if the musical needs quite so many songs, or quite so many mashups. Especially as some of the musical numbers weren’t especially well thought out, and a few felt misplaced – at times the songs elicited giggles in the audience, instead of the emotional response they were aiming for.

But one thing is definite, this is probably the most visually stunning production currently in the West End. You could say that Moulin Rouge is ‘The Sparkling Diamond’ of the West End. It’s a captivating, exquisite spectacular, and Jamie Muscato is a force to be reckoned with. This is a must-see show.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

{🎟 AD – PR invite – Tickets were gifted in exchange for an honest review}

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  1. The best musical or show I’ve ever seen. We booked this a while ago and it was worth the wait. So good that we’re planning to go again as soon as possible specifically because we want to see Jamie playing Christian again. His voice is absolutely incredible, I don’t have the words to describe how good he is. Unbelievable. Can’t wait to see it again.

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