The Glitterati of Moulin Rouge light up London

“Soubrettes and Sodomites”


Cast in Moulin Rouge (Photo: Matt Crockett)

Long awaited is the Broadway transfer to London of the musical based on Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 musical film of the same name.  And what a sparkling opening few minutes it is!  Unlike Cabaret  which was designed to show the sordid nature of depraved Berlin, this show is all colour, fabulous costumes and big money with diamonds that look real.  It is a really exciting pre-show display of the larger than life figures at the famous Parisian nightclub at the Montmatre site of the red windmill. 

OK so with the cancan we don’t have the authenticity of the split drawers that made the dance so shocking with its snatched display of intimate anatomy, and I would have preferred lacy cotton drawers, albeit with a gusset, to sequinned full briefs!  However the frilled cancan skirts are a colourful triumph.

The first four burlesque dancers Arabia (Zoe Birkett), La Chocolat (Timmika Ramsay), Baby Doll (Johnny Bishop) and Nini (Sophie Carmen Jones) do not have an inch of cellulite in sight wearing tan tights under their fishnets.  Shhh!  Don’t tell anyone but one of these gorgeous girls is a chap. They are a refreshing mix of sizes and not afraid to show off their delicious derrières in thrilling choreography by Sonya Tayeh.

Moulin Rouge  is called a jukebox musical because of its use of popular music in snatches.  Some of the lines are so short, you could call it a musical sound byte musical.  It means many of the tunes are great, iconic pop numbers but sadly this encourages some of the audience to join in.  I am seriously thinking of getting cards printed which say “You might prefer to attend a Relaxed performance if you are neuro-divergent or have Autism, Alzheimer’s, Tourettes and can’t leave the singing to the cast!”

Liisi LaFontaine is delightful as the consumptive courtesan heroine – the plot of this Baz Luhrmann Moulin Rouge appears to be La Traviata meets La Bohème but was in fact the last part of The Red Curtain trilogy, preceded by Strictly Ballroom and Romeo and Juliet.   Its strength is not the story line or book of the musical with composer Christian (Jamie Boygo)  representing the Bohemian element with his musical writing partners, the artist Toulouse Lautrec  (Jason Pennycooke) and the Argentinian Santiago (Elia Lo Tauro).  Lautrec’s drawings of the Parisian nightclub scene are used in the musical as inspiration for some of the scenic designs.   You will want to see this musical for its outstanding sets and costumes.   

The voluptuous Liisi LaFontaine, her real name is worthy of Moulin Rouge billing, sings wonderfully as Satine the woman used as a pawn to save the bankrupt Moulin Rouge and has good stage presence.  Appearing in his first West End role is RADA graduate and Adam Driver lookalike, Jamie Boygo.  We can understand why Satine falls for Christian, even if his tunes are totally derivative!

Michelle Fox as Tybalt (Photo: Jane Hobson)

I took issue with the Duke (Simon Bailey) trying to intimidate Lautrec using his aristocratic roots when the real Lautrec was a Comte and a member of the French aristocracy who escaped 1789.  However Jason Pennycooke’s French accent is very good having had all that practice in Hamilton as Lafayette.  Shame Simon Bailey’s Duke doesn’t know the Champs Elyseés is not pronounced Eli-seee but Eli-say and Clive Carter’s Zidler needs to know that the French word Apogée is said Apo-jshay not Apog-eee.  Still the Australians were always bad at French! 

You cannot fault Derek McLane’s  spectacular sets and Catherine Zuber’s extravagant costumes in Moulin Rouge with atmospheric lighting from Justin Townsend.   McLane also designed Anything Goes. I watched the film online recently and was so much more impressed by seeing the magical cast of Moulin Rouge in their luxurious venue.   

Clive Cartwr as Zidler, Jamie Boygo as Christian, Elia Lo Tauro as SAntiago and Jason Pennycooke as Lautrec (Photo: Johan Persson)

Musical Numbers

Act One

Welcome to the Moulin Rouge  

Lady Marmalade

So Fresh, So Clean

Money, That’s What I Want

Let’s Dance

Burning Down the House

Because We Can

(Fatboy Slim)


Bohemian Ideas 

The Sound of Music

I Don’t Want To Wait

Every Breath You Take

Never Gonna Give You Up


Truth Beauty, Freedom, Love 


Children of the Revolution

We Are Young


The Sparkling Diamond  

Diamonds Are Forever

Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best


Material Girl

Single Ladies

(Put a Ring on It)



Shut Up and Raise Your Glass

Shut Up And Dance

Raise Your Glass

I Wanna Dance with


(Who Loves Me)  





Your Song

Your Song


So Exciting! 

The Pitch Song


La Vie En Rose


(L’amour est in oiseau rebelle)

Galop Infernale


Sympathy For the Duke

Sympathy For The Devil

You Can’t Always Get What

You Want

Gimme Shelter


Nature Boy  

Nature Boy


Elephant Love Medley  

All You Need is Love

Just One Night

Pride (In the Name of Love)

Can’t Help Falling in Love

Don’t Speak

I Love You Always Forever

It Ain’t Me Babe

Love Hurts

Love is a Battlefield

Play the Game

Such Great Heights


Take On Me


What’s Love Got to Do With It

Everlasting Love

Up Where We Belong


Your Song

I Will Always Love You

Act Two

Backstage Romance

Bad Romance

Tainted Love

Seven Nation Army

Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)


Only Girl In A Material World

Only Girl in the World

Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend

Material Girl




El Tango de Roxanne



Crazy Rolling

Crazy Rolling in the Deep


Your Song (Reprise)

Come What May

Your Song


Come What May (Reprise)


More More More!

Lady Marmalade

Hey Ya!

Because We Can (Fatboy Slim)

Minnie the Moocher

Bad Romance

What’s Love Got To Do With It

Don’t You Want Me


Gallop Infernal

Production Notes

Moulin Rouge!

Book by John Logan

Based on 2001 20th Century Fox Motion Picture Written by Baz Luhrmann and Craig Pearce

Directed by Alex Timbers



Liisi LaFontaine

Clive Carter

Simon Bailey

Jason Pennycooke

Elia Lo Tauro

Sophie Carmen Jones

Timmika Ramsay

Zoe Birkett

Johnny Bishop




Tanisha Spring



Femi Akinfolarin

Robson Broad

Ian Carlyle

Jonathan Cordin

Anthony Cragg

Katie Ella Dunsden

Luke Jackson

Ciro Lourencio Meulens

Melissa Nettleford

Craig Ryder

Tinovimbanashe Sibanda

Katie Singh

Toyan Thomas-Browne

Amy Thornton

Lily Wang


Walking Covers

Adam Gillian

Jon Tsouras


Fletcher Dobinson

Tamsin January

Alicia Mencia

Georgia Morgan

Ian Oswald

Ebby Sama

Elly Shaw

Ope Sowande

Misty May Tindall

Tommy Wade-Smith 



Director  Alex Timbers

Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh

Set Designer: Derek McLane

Musical Supervisor,

Orchestrator, Arrangements

and Additional Lyrics: Justin Levine

Lighting Designer:  Justin Townsend

Costume Designer:  Catherine Zuber

Sound Designer: Peter Hylenski

Musical Director: James McKeon


Running Time: Two hours 35 minutes with an interval

Booking to 23rd June 2022 



Piccadilly Theatre

16 Denman Street

London W1D 7DY

Box Office: 0844 871 7615


Tube: Piccadilly Circus


by Lizzie Loveridge

at the Piccadilly Theatre

on 19th January 2022