Hello, Chickens! It’s me, Molly Ponders Musicals finally back with another theatre review! The first in 2022! I don’t know about you but 2022 has definitely been a theatre filled year so far! So expect lots of exciting reviews coming up!
First up we have Moulin Rouge! Currently playing at Londons Piccadilly theatre, it’s a bright and fun night for anyone who chooses to live surrounded by the Bohemian ideals of Truth, Beauty, Freedom and Love as well as being Heroes just for one day! This musical follows the same plot as the 2001 movie of the same name but with an updated soundtrack featuring songs such as ‘Firework’ by Katy Perry or ‘Bad Romance’ by Lady Gaga.
As soon as you enter the auditorium you are transported into the world of the Moulin Rouge with lavish set pieces and a pre-show which features the stellar ensemble cast. You truly leave dreary London behind for 2 and a half hours and have pure escapism which is just as magical as it sounds.
So overall it was such an incredible show, fully exceeded all my hopes and wishes for the show, the set, the costumes, EVERYTHING about the musical is everything a show could be, there is nothing to be faulted, the VOCALS every single one of the cast had were insane, the choreography was outstanding, especially the act 2 opener ‘Backstage Romance, the ‘Pitch’ scene was just as chaotic as I expected it, the ending was an emotional rollercoaster and all of it was just spectacular spectacular!!
Starting with the fierce Lady Marmalades, played by Zoe Birkett as Arabia, Timmika Ramsey as La Chocolat and Johnny Bishop as Babydoll. They were SO fierce and the VOCALS that. came outta them?? Frankly obsessed, the second the lights went down their silhouettes were outlined there was so much sass and strength within that tight unit and I loved every single one of them so much. Their version of Lady Marmalade was incredible and really set the tone for how incredible the show was going to be. The perfect way to open the show! Just wish we got to see more of their fierceness! Lady Marmalade spin-off anyone??
Next up we have Sophie Carmen Jones as Nini and Elia Lotauro as Santiago,
Sophie’s Nini was so captivating and my eyes were naturally drawn to her in the big dance numbers, loved her friendship with Tanisha was sweet and I wish we got more of it and Nini! Nini is also one of the Lady Marmalades who open the show! Nothing but fierceness – we love to see it!
Elia as Santiago was such a good casting! He was so chaotic and I was here for that – especially during the Pitch Song! Had killer vocals as well which were highlighted at the start of the second act! I ADORED the friendship he had with Ian and Jamie as well, was a really fun trio, from the start when Christian met with and I want a spin-off of Toulouse and Santiago!
Combined these two were a force of nature and their bad romance is tattooed onto my brain because chefs kiss!
Simon Bailey as The Duke was the perfect casting! There was something so menacing about him. He had such a big and grand stage presence and commanded every scene he was in especially during act 2! The Sympathy For The Duke scene was definitely his standout scene! The vocals were deep and rich which were perfect! He wasn’t too overpowering which I had a fear of the Duke being, he worked perfectly alongside Clives Zidler and Tanisha’s Satine! Such a change in role after seeing him as JD’s dad in Heathers at the Haymarket in the summer!
Following Simon, we have Ian Carlyle as Toulouse! LOVED LOVED LOVED seeing lan as Toulouse, I had previously seen him twice as the Leading Player in Pippin over the summer so was thrilled to be seeing him in this! And he didn’t disappoint! Especially as it was his debut in this role!! They’ve given Toulouse such a bigger role in the musical which I adored!, Ian’s rendition of Nature Boy was beautiful and filled with emotion and I am so grateful I got to hear it. He had such a good onstage friendship with both Jamie and Elia as the Bohemians as well as Tanisha which was lovely to see especially given the added scenes between Toulouse and Satine!
You say, Clive Carter, I say Icon, this man as Zidler? Hilarious!! This man was an icon from the first moment you see him until his bows! Loved every single scene we got of him! I could not have imagined a better person in this role, he was the heart of the Moulin, and he brought so much love and joy to the show. His comedy was spot on, everything about him was perfect for the role and he made me love the role, even more! The way he was like a caring father figure to both Satine and Christian had my heart, again this was another perfect casting that left me wanting more!
Next up is the Sparkling Diamond herself Tanisha Spring, What a voice! Probably one of the most versatile voices I think I’ve heard on the West End. There were so many rich yet sweet notes even within her first few minutes of Diamonds. Her stand out moment for me was definitely Firework’ I could listen to her version of that song on repeat, there was Such a tenderness within that moment and the audience really feels for Satine and is rooting for her. She portrayed Satine exactly as Id expect her to be played… Almost like a teen in an adults world putting pressure on herself to get out of the situation she was in. She lit up the stage from the very first moment she came down on the swing through to her dying breaths Truly an incredible Performer and it was a treat to see her perform the role!
Last but not least we have the beating heart of the show, Jamie Bogyo as Christian. My god the casting team deserve all the raises for that casting The innocence and hope that Christian has in act 1 was so sweet to see, Jamie played the optimist so well. His version of Your Song was beautiful and sweet. Yet Jamie’s biggest triumphs were in act 2 with Christian descent info madness from Chandelier onwards His version of Roxanne was one of the biggest stand-out numbers for me within the show, the strength and power his voice had in that was extraordinary adored his friendship with lan and Elia’s bohemians, there was chaos but the friendship felt so strong and how I imagined it to be! He played the sweet Christian really well but the crazed act 2 Christian was truly something to behold! The fact that this is his first West End show was insane, he needs to be cast in everything from here on out, yet also needs to stay as Christian because he was perfect for the role!
Tanisha and Jamie together were the most perfect pairing! There was incredible chemistry with the both of them which shone through in scenes like ‘Come What May’ and ‘Elephant Love Medley’, but by far the moment that stood out and stayed with me was their version of ‘Crazy Rolling’ which is a mashup of Crazy by Gnarls Barkley and Rolling in the Deep by Adele. This had always been my favourite song on the cast recording but seeing it live was a whole different experience! Jamie and Tanisha’s vocals were out of this world and really left you speechless going into the final 2 songs.
Just want to add that the ENSEMBLE with this show were nothing like I’ve ever seen before! This gives so much proof that performers are athletes because wow, they were incredible. The dancing was INCREDIBLE, Especially Roxanne and Backstage Romance, I could watch them for hours! They deserve so much appreciation, they brought so much love and joy to the show. The show would not have nearly been the same without all of these incredibly talented people! I’ve never seen such an incredible ensemble!
We were also incredibly lucky to be sitting in the special Can-Can seats which really enhanced and brought us into the world! Great seats if you want to feel like you’re a part of the show but if you want to take it all in I’d suggest going a few rows back!
I can’t wait to return in June and see this incredible spectacular show again!
Katy9th May 2022
Good to see you writing your reviews again Molly and glad you’re enjoying the performances.