Dreamcast for the West End Moulin Rouge
| By Jade Ali
Our new dreamcast was inspired by the recent announcement that Broadway’s Moulin Rouge would indeed be transferring to the West End. The journey over the pond won’t occur until March 2021, meaning official casting announcements will still be a while off – that however doesn’t stop us dreaming. Tickets for Moulin Rouge at the Piccadilly Theatre are not yet available, but you can sign up to our mailing list to make sure you’re the first to know when booking opens up.
Baz Luhrmann’s sparkling diamond of a film starring Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman sets the bar for casting this stage adaptation out of this atmosphere high. They are simply legends but perhaps are no longer a fit for the roles they originally played 20 years ago. (Although, if they wanted to reprise the roles of Christian and Satine for the West End production, I’m sure no one would argue). The Broadway production has a seriously strong cast that is nothing short of envious, but with the masses of talent that we have here in the West End and the UK, there’s no doubt that the London Moulin Rouge cast will be spectacular spectacular.
Who will play the lead roles in the West End Moulin Rouge?
Again, casting and other announcements are yet to come but dreaming up our perfect cast in the meanwhile has proven to be a fun way to bide our time. Before any announcement of the West End transfer came about, the perfect Christian was already in my mind. At a cabaret show earlier this year, I saw Simon Gordon sing ‘Your Song’ and it simply took my breath away and from the first line of that song, I knew he was the only choice (for me). As a huge fan of the 2001 hit movie, of the same name, the whole character of Christian is formed during ‘Your Song’ and Gordon’s rendition lived up to the high expectations that this musical holds. Simon Gordon is currently in Girl From the North Country which is playing in Toronto, Canada before it transfers to the West End’s Gielgud Theatre from 10 December 2019.
The casting of the role of Satine is crucial to Moulin Rouge as she’s not just a lead but must be a chameleon. (In the Baz Luhrmann film, Nicole Kidman as Satine asks if she should be a wilting flower or bright and bubbly or smouldering and temptress.) On Broadway, Satine is played by the Tony Award-winning actress Karen Olivo. The West End has many brilliant actresses who would be stunning in the role but when you see Rhianne-Louise McCaulsky perform, it is obvious she would excel as Satine. McCaulsky most recently played Rizzo in the UK tour of Grease. She has the voice you dream a leading lady would have and then some, and she more than has the capabilities to mould herself into the different roles that Satine morphs in and out off. (Also, she’d look beyond fabulous in the outfits too).
My dream West End Moulin Rouge cast
The characters in Moulin Rouge are all very three dimensional. They’re big roles and they require the perfect casting to make sure they’re spot on. That’s exactly what I attempted for the rest of my dreamcast and if I say so myself, it’s a very dreamy dreamcast. The role of Harold Zidler is certainly a big one; he’s boisterous, whimsical and demands attention. Anyone who played this role would need to be comfortable with dominating a stage and I can think of no one more perfect for this character than the incredible Trevor Dion Nicholas. He will be playing the huge role of George Washington in the West End Hamilton from 18 November 2019. He previously played the Genie in the West End production of Aladdin at the Prince Edward Theatre.
The role of The Duke when it comes to casting initially proved tricky for me. He is referred to as The Duke because his whole personality revolves around his title. He is a gentleman and wealthy beyond means but he is also entitled and spoilt. Casting for this role can go in many directions, but I think David Bedella would be a perfect fit. His acting credits have seen him play various roles for which he has won two Olivier Awards. He’s played the lead role of Frank N Furter in the Rocky Horror Show in two UK tours and in London and is currently playing the role of Lance in & Juliet at the West End’s Shaftesbury Theatre. He’s a phenomenal actor and any casting director should be desperate to have him, but Bedella as The Duke in Moulin Rouge would certainly be iconic.
Toulouse is a beloved character in Moulin Rouge. He’s a true Bohemian and believes completely in the ideals of beauty, truth, freedom and love. He’s the best friend character and requires someone that is hugely likeable and that’s why Nathaniel Morrison came instantly to mind. Morrison is currently an ensemble member in the West End cast of Waitress at the Adelphi Theatre. He shines both on and off stage and displays extraordinary talent that is desperate for a role in which he can show off his wonderful capabilities. He’d be a great fit for the character of Toulouse for sure!
The character of Santiago sings the steamy ‘Roxanne’, which requires a powerful voice, and must be a triple threat as he dominates the stage with his moves along with the character of Nini. Wayne Robinson simply needs to play Santiago, as he has it all! And he’d no doubt serve up the steamy, suaveness that Santiago requires. Robinson recently starred in the acclaimed Ain’t Misbehavin’ at both the Mercury Theatre in Colchester and Southwark Playhouse in London. He previously starred in Bat Out of Hell (Dominion Theatre) in the role of Jagwire. My dreamcast is complete by Zara MacIntosh in the role of Nini. MacIntosh is currently in Six at the West End’s Art Theatre as Alternate Aragon and Alternate Howard, and she is an absolute force to be reckoned with! Definitely one to watch!
Moulin Rouge West End transfer is coming in Spring 2021
So, that’s my Moulin Rouge West End Dreamcast but who knows who will be in the company when the musical takes to London's Piccadilly Theatre in March 2021. Sign up for our mailing list to be the first to hear all the exciting theatre news. Until then, we can-can only dream!
→ Read our previous Dreamcast/#WestEndWishlist piece for Broadway’s Beetlejuice here.