Above – Samantha Dodemaide and cast. Cover – Alinta Chidzey and Des Flanagan. Photos – Michelle Grace Hunder

The capacity crowd appeared to have taken the dress code directive (to go wild) on the media invitation to heart! There was a vivid display of attire on show in the pre-show foyers. Lots of flesh revealed and acres of beading and glitter. It made for highly entertaining, in some cases amusing, viewing. Mini micro kilt and Doc Martins on 6.4 foot legs anyone?

The scene was set upon entrance to the theatre itself. Multiple chandeliers sparkled. The whole room was bathed in rosy glowing light. The Moulin Rouge itself (literally the red mill) a neon creation whirred its arms seductively to one side of the stage. The set decoration was outstanding. A dozen or so characters in costume who roamed the stage affecting louche poses to set the scene.

All at once there was a multitude of cancan girls in brilliantly colored ruffled skirts explosively giving their all to the dance.

The production was slick in every department. The staging, the lighting, the sound quality, the choreography, the costumes, the casting of the leads, the exciting partneship show pieces, the ensemble work vocally and in dance. The show was a well-oiled machine in the most complimentary sense of the words. After seasons in Sydney and Melbourne it transferred to Perth for a predictably long run at Crown Theatre, Burswood.

To most of the audience the show held few surprises. The film had run and run. However it must be said that the dramatic timing, particularly in Act 11 when the heroine, Satine meets her fate, was excellent.

There was a nice juxtaposition of the main protagonists; Satine, Christian, Harold Zeidler, Toulouse-Lautrec, Santiago and Nini. All of whom were excellently performed by Alinta Chidzey, Des Flanagan, Simon Burke, James Bryers, Jarrod Draper, Ryan Gonzalez and Samantha Dodemaide. All strong, expressive actors, dancers and singers.

The musical composition of the show was very clever, blending well-known contemporary song lines that were immediately familiar to audience members.

The plotline was familiar; the ill-fated love affair between Satine and the poor, penniless Christian. Her seemingly ruthless decision to continue her match with the wealthy, malicious Duke. The plot was underscored with a passionate pairing between another couple Nini (Samantha Dodemaide) and Santiago (Ryan Gonzalez). Their pairing displayed highly erotic choreography.

Then there followed a stunning final scene between the two lovers. It was truly theatrical that such a high voltage show could end in tragedy.

We were swiftly moved to an explosive dance finale featuring familiar hits such as Lady Marmalade and Voulez Vous Couchez Avec Moi?

The audience rose as one, to give this audaciously energetic production a long term standing ovation. The atmosphere was electric and the applause wildly keen.

A greatly satisfying night at the theatre for all.

Event details

Global Creatures presents
Moulin Rouge! The Musical
book John Logan | music supervision, orchestrations and arrangements Justin Levine

Director Alex Timbers 

Venue: Crown Theatre | Burswood Perth
Dates: from 21 February 2023
Tickets: from $69
Bookings: moulinrougemusical.com

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